INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — An eclectic group of entertainers, academics and ice cream makers — along with a few supportive politicians — is convening in Iowa for the final week before the caucuses to bolster the case for Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.
The Sanders campaign on Sunday announced a group of surrogates that is noticeably light on elected officials in a contest in which challenger Hillary Clinton has far more establishment backing.
Sanders’s list includes two liberal congressmen who have endorsed him — Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) — along with Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator with a national profile who has appeared with Sanders on the campaign trail many times.
Also scheduled to come to Iowa on Sanders’s behalf is Chuy Garcia, a commissioner in Cook County, Ill., whom Sanders endorsed in his unsuccessful Democratic primary challenge against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
That’s it for the politicians.
But fellow Vermonters Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield — better known by their first names, Ben and Jerry, and the ice cream company they founded — will be on hand Monday at campaign stops in Iowa, according to Sanders’s campaign.
Also on the way to help Sanders is Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike, who was previously dispatched to the spin room to talk to reporters after the last Democratic debate, in South Carolina.
Rapper Killer Mike works the spin room for Bernie Sanders at the Democratic debate in Charleston. pic.twitter.com/HHam1Dqryb
— John Wagner (@WPJohnWagner) January 18, 2016
Besides Killer Mike, whose real name is Michael Render, several other musicians are on the surrogates list. They include the lead vocalist and drummer of the rock band Vampire Weekend; members of the indie pop band Foster the People; and singer/songwriters Jill Sobule and Michelle Lewis.
Like Clinton, Sanders also has some Hollywood stars in his corner. Actress Susan Sarandon is scheduled to campaign with him on Monday.
Other actors on the way, according to the campaign, include Brendan Hines, Jonathan Sadowski, Justin Long, Gaby Hoffmann and Connor Paolo. Comedians the Lucas Brothers are also scheduled to appear.
Academic Cornel West, a frequent Sanders surrogate, will be in Iowa during the final week before the caucuses, as will syndicated columnist Jim Hightower, the campaign said.
The wave of Sanders supporters follows a weekend in which several high-profile Democrats fanned out across Iowa on Clinton's behalf. They included Sens. Timothy M. Kaine (Va.), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.); and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.
Tony Goldwyn, star of the hit television series “Scandal,” and pop singer Demi Lovato also have made appearances for Clinton in recent days.