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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is headed to Flint on Thursday for a campaign event with residents that will highlight the city’s lead-contaminated water crisis.

Sanders’ campaign said late Wednesday the Vermont senator will speak at an event at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Woodside Church, 1509 E. Court, near Mott Community College in Flint.

The Sanders campaign is requiring online reservations to attend the event. Doors open at 1 p.m.

With the March 8 presidential primary less than two weeks away, Sanders and Hillary Clinton have made Flint’s water crisis ground zero for their campaigns in Michigan to fire up their party’s liberal base upset with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s handling of the crisis.

Clinton unveiled a new 60-second TV ad Wednesday airing in the Flint, Detroit and Lansing markets that is entirely dedicated to her efforts to bring national attention to the plight of Flint residents.

The TV ad features Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who has endorsed Clinton for president. It also features video clips of Clinton’s Feb. 7 speech to the congregation of a predominately African-American Baptist church in Flint.

During that speech, Clinton called the contamination of Flint’s water “immoral” and vowed to advocate for financial assistance for the city’s residents and children potentially exposed to lead.

The Clinton campaign also is airing another TV ad narrated by actor Morgan Freeman that features images of Flint.

Sanders was last in Michigan on Feb. 15 for two rallies at Eastern Michigan University and the United Auto Workers Local 600 union hall in Dearborn.

During the speech in Dearborn, Sanders proposed a $1 trillion nationwide spending program to fix the country’s crumbling infrastructure and likened the cost to the Iraq war, which he opposed and Clinton voted to authorize as a U.S. senator from New York.

clivengood@detroitnews.com

(517) 371-3660

Twitter.com/ChadLivengood

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