2019-08-15 ne-booker p1

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks in support of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Now a Democratic presidential candidate himself, Booker will be in Tulsa on Aug. 29 for a speaking engagement at Tulsa’s Vernon Chapel AME Church, 311 N. Greenwood Ave. AP file

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, a Democratic presidential candidate, will be in Tulsa on Aug. 29 for a speaking engagement at Tulsa’s Vernon Chapel AME Church, 311 N. Greenwood Ave., and a later fundraiser at a separate location, organizers have confirmed.

The Vernon Chapel service is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., with Booker to speak at approximately 12:15 p.m.

Booker’s appearance at Vernon Chapel will kick off the 100th anniversary observance of the building’s basement, which is the oldest surviving part of the structure. The rest of the church building, including a portion that was under construction, was destroyed in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

The current church building was completed in the mid-1920s.

The Rev. Robert Turner said Booker was a natural choice for the occasion, irrespective of his candidacy for president, because of his involvement in inner city economic development and other issues. Booker is a former mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

Turner said Booker’s appearance should not be interpreted as an endorsement by himself or the church.

Michael Whelan, a Tulsa campaign consultant who helped arrange the visit at the request of the church, said he’s not committed to or working with Booker or any other Democratic presidential candidate.

“Any Democrat who’s running for president and wants to come to Oklahoma I’ll welcome with open arms,” Whelan said.

Unconnected to the Vernon appearance, Booker is expected to attend fundraisers for his campaign in Tulsa and Norman while in the state.

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Randy Krehbiel



Twitter: @rkrehbiel

Randy has been with the Tulsa World since 1979. He is a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Krehbiel primarily covers government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365

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