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The Latest: Jackson says need for voting rights remains

March 3, 2019

SELMA, Alabama (AP) — The Latest on Democratic presidential hopefuls at events commemorating the 54th anniversary of the march on Selma, Alabama, known as “Bloody Sunday” (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson says that what he calls “schemes to suppress” voting rights “are very real, very alive” today.

Jackson and several White House hopefuls are among the many people gathered in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 54th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.” That’s the civil rights march that turned so violent, it galvanized support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, who’s considering a run for president, says purging voter rolls, redistricting “and just changing the rules subtly” are among the ways the right to vote is stripped away.

He says “this fight continues. It’s become personal in many ways because voting rights are so important to our country.”

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12:15 p.m.

Sherrod Brown says the Democratic presidential hopefuls “respect” each other — and he’s contrasting that with the bickering among the Republicans who ran in 2016.

The Ohio senator was on a plane ride to Alabama was two senators already in the 2020 race, Corey Booker of New Jersey and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. They’re marking the 54th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march.

Brown says the three “have respect for each other and like each other.”

He describes the 2016 Republican candidates as “a bunch of people that took shots at each other, didn’t clearly like each other.”

Brown says he’ll decide by month’s end whether he’s going to join the crop of Democrats running for president.

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7:20 a.m.

Several Democratic White House hopefuls are visiting one of America’s seminal civil rights sites to pay homage to that legacy and highlight their own connections to the movement.

Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who already are in the 2020 race, and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who could soon join them, plan to participate in ceremonies marking the anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama.

On March 7, 1965, peaceful demonstrators were beaten back by Alabama troopers as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was a moment that galvanized support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year.

This year’s commemoration comes in the early days of a Democratic primary that’s focused heavily on issues of race.