The Rev. Derrick Harkins, a popular D.C. pastor with a shaved head and a remarkable résumé, was named Thursday to lead faith outreach for a Democratic Party seeking to bolster support for President Obama among black and religious voters.
Harkins is the first member of the faith outreach staff that
the party has announced for the 2012 election. In 2008, the campaign made strides
in attracting religious voters long considered GOP property,
particularly white evangelicals. Recent polls show weakened support for
Obama among such groups, and some experts on faith outreach say
Harkins’s work with progressive and conservative evangelicals in
particular could help.