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Sanders adds Fox News town hall, rallies as Biden surrogates swarm Michigan

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will participate in a Monday Fox News town hall in Detroit, one of a flurry of political stops by the democratic socialist and surrogates for former Vice President Joe Biden before Tuesday's Michigan Democratic primary.

The one-hour town hall, which was announced Friday, will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Michigan Dearborn-Field House ice rink. The event is open to the public, and tickets can be obtained through here.

The Fox News town hall is part of a crowded schedule for Sanders ahead of Tuesday's election in a state he narrowly won four years ago.

The senator will hold rallies at 7 p.m. Friday in the TCF Center in Detroit, 11 a.m. Saturday at Salina Intermediate School in Dearborn, 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Calder Plaza in Grands Rapids and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at The Diag at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Rashida Tlaib and Bernie Sanders rally at Cass Tech High School in Detroit on Oct. 27, 2019.

The town hall and the events in Dearborn and Ann Arbor were added after Sanders' initial schedule was released Wednesday morning. Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in Michigan by 1.4 percentage points in 2016 but is competing mainly against Biden, who won the endorsement of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and whose campaign is gaining momentum nationally.

The Fox News town hall event with Sanders will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday and focus "on key issues of the 2020 presidential election," according to a press release. The channel's chief political anchor, Bret Baier, and anchor Martha MacCallum will moderate as they have done for past presidential election town halls. They held such an event Thursday night with President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania.

The Sanders event will mark the 11th town hall of the current election season hosted by Fox News and the channel's 10th with a Democratic presidential candidate, according to the cable network. 

Biden is countering with a slew of stops by surrogates, including 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware and U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina. 

Biden will hold an event in Detroit on Monday and attend a fundraising in Grosse Pointe Farms that day at the home of Cynthia and Edsel Ford, according to an invitation obtained by The Detroit News.

Kerry, who was secretary of state under President Barack Obama, will attend a brunch with Jewish community leaders at 11 a.m. Saturday in Farmington Hills.

At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Kerry will address the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Victory Fund in Farmington Hills. And at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, he will participate in a meet and greet with the Arab American community at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware and U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina will also be making stops in Michigan over the weekend on behalf of Biden.

Butterfield will participate in an event at 1 p.m. Saturday with the Michigan Democratic Party Black at Caucus Fellowship Chapel in Detroit and a "Voting While Black" town hall at 2:15 p.m. Saturday at Ronald Brown Academy in Detroit. 

Lara Trump

In addition to the Democratic stops, Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of Trump, will be part of a panel discussion at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Ann Arbor Marriott at Eagle Crest.

Joining Lara Trump will be Mercedes Schlapp, White House director of strategic communications, and Kayleigh McEnany, national spokesman for the Republican National Committee, according to a press release.

cmauger@detroitnews.com