Klobuchar lands first Iowa endorsement
Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE, a 2020 presidential hopeful, has landed her first Iowa endorsement as the Minnesota Democrat hopes to be competitive in the crucial early caucus state.
State Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines (D), whose son has developmental and mental disorders, told The Associated Press that she was impressed with Klobuchar after the two discussed ideas to improve mental health during a private breakfast.
“I really like her, sincerely. She’s down to earth and approachable. She’s not proud or cocky,” Gaines said. “I could see this is a person who, if elected president, will do a great job, not only in the mental health area but primarily in listening to people and understanding their needs and then getting to work on trying to help them.”
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Following the breakfast, Klobuchar reportedly helped connect Gaines with a group that helps parents of mentally ill children.
Gaines plans to host the senator in northeastern Des Moines at one of her fundraisers and will try to convince other Iowa politicians to endorse Klobuchar’s campaign, according to the AP.
The Klobuchar campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Klobuchar first announced her campaign in February and unveiled a sweeping mental health and substance abuse plan last month. The platform proposes spending $100 billion to boost early intervention mental health organizations, improve access to opioid addiction treatment centers, help hire health care workers to serve areas with little or no hospital coverage and expand investments in research into behavioral health and addiction.
Gaines’s endorsement comes days ahead of this weekend’s Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame fundraiser, at which 19 presidential contenders are expected speak.
The Iowa caucuses will be held on Feb. 3.