Gillibrand is next 2020 hopeful headed to Michigan
Democratic president hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand is headed to Michigan next week to participate in a televised town hall forum on MSNBC.
The event is set for Monday at 8 p.m. the cable news network announced, promising a “special, interactive” town hall at the Rochester Mills Production Brewery and Taproom in Auburn Hills.
Gillibrand, a U.S. senator from New York, will be the second high-profile presidential contender to visit Michigan in the 2020 election cycle. She is expected to make at least one additional stop during her upcoming Michigan tri but has not yet finalized plans
Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland held a round table with small business owners and entrepreneurs at Detroit Vegan Soul in January. Andrew Yang, a former technology executive who this week announced he's met requirements to participate in Democratic candidate debates, campaigned in Detroit in November.
Michigan played a critical role in the 2016 presidential election, with President Donald Trump becoming the first Republican to win the state since 1988. It is among a handful of Midwest states that could again see significant attention from candidates in 2020.
Gillibrand announced her presidential exploratory committee in January on the CBS “Late Show,” where host Stephen Colbert gifted her a plane ticket to the Michigan. She responded by praising recently elected Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has invited all 2020 Democratic candidates to campaign here.
In the MSNBC town hall, Gillibrand is expected to “explain explain how her positions and beliefs stand in comparison to the other Democratic candidates hoping to unseat” Trump, the network said.
Along with “important topics of the day, Sen. Gillibrand will talk with Michigan voters about their concerns and priorities as they consider who to support in 2020.”
A vocal advocate for victims of sexual misconduct, Gillibrand on Monday defended her Senate office’s response to a former staffer who resigned over the handling of sexual harassment claims by a colleague.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist who won Michigan’s 2016 Democratic primary, is running again. The Vermont politician has referenced Michigan twice in the past two weeks, criticizing the pay of a local insurance executive as he continues to call for creation of a single-payer national health care system.
Former Vice President Joe Biden may also seek the Democratic nomination and is expected to declare his plans soon.
He would join a crowded field that includes former governors John Hickenlooper of Colorado and John Inslee of Washington; Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of House and Urban Development.
Gillibrand is expected in New Hampshire this weekend for a series of events. It will be her third visit to the early primary voting state since announcing her exploratory campaign.
Staff reporter Melissa Burke contributed.