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Kolbuchar Returns to Iowa Thursday     12/05 06:14

   CHICAGO (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar on Thursday 
rolled out a plan to help Americans succeed in a changing economy, as she 
returns to Iowa looking to quickly build support with weeks to go before the 
first votes are cast for the party's 2020 nomination.

   The Minnesota senator's plan, which she will discuss during a three-day 
swing that include forums with the Teamsters and the Iowa Farmers Union, 
includes tax credits to help retrain workers who lose their jobs to automation 
and support for workers and communities that have relied on the fossil fuel 
industry. It also calls for more investment in cybersecurity, encouraging small 
manufacturers to innovate and several measures to help the growing number of 
"gig" workers, such as Uber drivers, including by allowing them to form unions 
and by making it easier to file their taxes.

   Klobuchar is trying to move closer to the top tier of candidates after 
seeing her support slowly grow throughout the fall, thanks to two strong debate 
performances that also helped the campaign bring in its highest level of 
donations since she joined the race in February. She has used the money to 
increase her advertising and hire more staff in Iowa and New Hampshire, the 
first two states to vote, and to open offices in the next two states, Nevada 
and South Carolina.

   She has touted her slow-but-steady approach to the race, noting her 
conservative spending in the early months of the campaign has allowed her to 
stay in a contest that has had more than two dozen candidates. California Sen. 
Kamala Harris became the latest to drop out of the race, saying on Tuesday that 
she didn't have the funds to continue.

   But Klobuchar continues to poll a distant fifth in Iowa, behind Sens. 
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Vice 
President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. And the time 
is getting short for Klobuchar to execute her strategy before Iowa's Feb. 3 
caucus.

   Her campaign announced on Wednesday that it has hired a longtime political 
operative and former Iowa Democratic Party executive director, Norm 
Sterzenbach, to serve as its Iowa caucus adviser, calling the move "the latest 
sign of strength heading into 2020." 

   Sterzenbach, who was the state director for former Rep. Beto O'Rourke's 
presidential campaign before O'Rourke dropped out, brings expertise in caucus 
math and geography that Klobuchar's campaign said will be a big asset heading 
into the final weeks.


(KR)

 
 
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