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Election 2020 Amy Klobuchar

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., addresses fair goers from her fair booth during a campaign visit to the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights, Minn., on Aug. 22. With her are husband John and daughter Abigail.

Iowa Rep. Molly Donahue, of Cedar Rapids, has endorsed Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Donahue, a Democrat who represents the Iowa House district that includes eastern Cedar Rapids, Marion, Bertram and Ely, was attracted to Klobuchar because of her “no-nonsense approach,” she said in a statement distributed by the Klobuchar campaign.

A legislative freshman, Donahue is a lifelong Cedar Rapids resident and has taught special education for 30 years.

Klobuchar “has common-sense policies that will help the everyday people in Iowa and in our country,” Donahue said. “Amy’s no-nonsense approach gets things done, while her sense of humor helps to unite people for a common cause. Amy’s record proves she remains a progressive in her ideas and policies, while reaching across the aisle to gain bipartisan support.”

Klobuchar also has repeatedly shown she’s unafraid of standing up to President Donald Trump, Donahue said.

“That’s the candidate we need to win in 2020,” she said.

Harris proposes to end minimum sentences

An end to mandatory minimum sentences is a staple of Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ criminal justice proposal.

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Harris is a U.S. Senator from California and former prosecutor and attorney general of that state.

Her proposal would end mandatory minimum sentences for federal crimes and incentivize states to do the same. She also would end the use of private federal prisons, legalize marijuana and expunge current convictions, and establish a national standard for use of deadly force to “only when necessary and when no reasonable alternatives are available.”

“Americans deserve a criminal justice system that focuses on fairness, rehabilitation and accountability to build trust and safe communities,” Harris said in a statement. “My entire career has been spent making needed reforms and fighting for those who too often are voiceless — from young people arrested for the first time and getting them jobs instead of jail, to grieving Black mothers who wanted justice for their child’s murder as the system ignored their pain. This plan uses my experience and unique capability to root out failures within the justice system.”

FRAKEN STAFFS UP: Michael Franken, the U.S. Navy veteran seeking the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race, announced four staff hires.

Franken, in a news release, said his campaign has hired Jordan Overstreet as campaign manager, Kimberley Strope-Boggus as political director, Richard Bender as senior advisor and Jessica VandenBerg as senior strategist.

Bender was a longtime staffer for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, worked before that for U.S. Sen. John Culver, and played a central role in crafting the Iowa Democratic Party presidential precinct caucuses.

VandenBerg ran Christie Vilsack’s 2012 Congressional campaign and worked for years with the Iowa Democratic Party.

“I am excited to have put together a strong team experienced in all facets of Iowa and nationally,” Franken said in the news release. “The road to a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate runs through Iowa, and this campaign has the best chance of flipping Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat in 2020.”

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