Harris and Booker jostle for backing of black lawmakers

Two African-American senators, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, are aggressively courting black lawmakers as they look to build networks in key presidential voting states like South Carolina, Ohio and Michigan. Both showed up at the CBC’s weekly meeting on Wednesday. As Harris worked the room, Booker told at least two members that he would call them afterward, according to sources at the meeting.

But Joe Biden could complicate their plans: The former vice president is a longtime ally of the CBC and has been reaching out to veteran black lawmakers to talk about the race, according to multiple members…

“Issues that are important to African-Americans are going to be at the forefront” of the Democratic primary, said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), a CBC member who received a call from Harris before she declared her candidacy. “Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, as a result, are going to be instrumental for all the candidates in talking about issues of concern.”