- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former South Carolina lawmaker Bakari Sellers wears many hats. This Christmas, he’s adding a red one with fuzzy white trim.

On Friday, Sellers planned to play Santa Claus in his hometown of Denmark, giving away thousands of dollars in toys, books and bikes to kids in need and using social media to help do it.

Sellers, who served four terms in South Carolina’s House and was the Democratic lieutenant governor nominee in 2014, told The Associated Press he drove his pickup truck to Walmart earlier this week and loaded it up with enough bikes, books and toys for about 150 kids. Broadcasting his shopping trip via Facebook live, Sellers also posted a photo of the goods to his more than 70,000 Twitter followers with a sentence on the time and place for the giveaway.

“When you’re in a position to give back, you should,” Sellers, 32, told the AP while on his way to set up the giveaway. “I’m just going to give, because that’s what the season is all about.”

Sellers, now an attorney in private practice and CNN political commentator, said he wants to use his public position to help others. His hometown of Denmark is in Bamberg County, where unemployment figures are among the highest in South Carolina.

“I’m on TV a lot, and I’ve had a lot of blessings,” Sellers told the AP.

“My only fear is that I don’t have enough,” Sellers said, of the toys he planned to give away. “I’m not getting any tax benefit from it. I’m not giving it to any organization. I’m not registering any voters or asking for a vote. It’s just going to be fun.”


Kinnard can be reached at https://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . Read more of her work at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard/

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