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Local Black Clergy Plan Monthly Jaunts to Help Sen. Allen

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Editor's note: This online story is different from the version published Oct. 4. Because of incorrect information Style received, we erroneously named a local pastor who is not associated with this group. Bishop Gerald Glenn, founder and senior pastor of the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, is not part of the committee of local black clergy. Style regrets the error.



Republican Sen. George Allen may have Confederate flags in his house, but he's got African-American pastors in his corner.

A newly formed group of black religious leaders from Richmond — led by the Rev. Joe Ellison Jr. — plans to meet monthly with the embattled senator to advise him on race relations.

Allen, who is vying for a second term in the Senate, has faced allegations of racism after former college football teammates accused him of regularly using the n-word — not to mention the now infamous "macaca" incident involving a campaign worker for his opponent, James Webb. It even ended up in a recent "Saturday Night Live" spoof.

Allen "is in a political war right now," says Ellison, formerly the chief chaplain of the Richmond City Jail Chaplain Corps. "A lot of people think Allen is a racist. That's the farthest thing from the truth. I've known George for 25 years. He's always been supportive of me, and we're going to support him."

Ellison says that 15 African-American pastors have joined the group so far. The group tentatively planned a press conference in early October in Washington, D.C., to announce its formation.

Allen's campaign headquarters acknowledged the group's existence but didn't respond to requests for more information. Allen has said he's never used the n-word, called his use of the term "macaca" a mistake and says the Confederate flags he owns are part of a flag collection. S



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