20 presidential candidates to participate in forums in five Iowa cities

DES MOINES — Twenty Democratic presidential candidates will appear at a series of forums in five Iowa cities next month.

The events are sponsored by AARP and The Des Moines Register. Radio Iowa news director O. Kay Henderson and Kathie Obradovich, The Register’s opinion editor, will moderate the discussions.

Each of the 20 candidates will appear at just one forum. The events, which will begin at 2 p.m. each day, will be held the week of July 15th. They’ll be staged in Des Moines, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Council Bluffs.

Read the announcement from the event sponsors below:

DES MOINES, Iowa – Today, AARP and The Des Moines Register, part of the USA TODAY Network | Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), announced a series of presidential candidate forums in locations across Iowa beginning July 15 and ending July 20. The locations include Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines and Sioux City.

Twenty Democratic presidential candidates have agreed to participate in the forums. Each candidate will have 25 minutes on stage to answer questions from both moderators and the audience.

The forums will be moderated by Kathie Obradovich, Des Moines Register Opinion Editor, and Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa News Director. These are invitation-only events for AARP members, and the audience at each forum will be comprised of 200 to 250 Iowans.

“Older voters turn out in force in every election, so any candidate who wants to win in 2020 needs to focus on soaring prescription drug prices and other issues they care about,” said John Hishta, AARP Senior Vice President of Campaigns. “These forums will put candidates on the record, and older voters will be watching.”

“Many of the concerns of older Iowans, including health care, the economy and the quality of education for their children and grandchildren, are shared by voters of all ages,” said Carol Hunter, executive editor of The Des Moines Register. “The forums will allow Iowans to hear directly from the candidates about these important issues, whether by attending the forums or watching a livestream on their digital devices.”

President Donald Trump has been invited to share his views with AARP members ahead of the general election.

AARP has a proud 33-year history of non-partisan voter engagement, providing voters with information on where the candidates stand on issues important to older voters and their families, so they can make their own decisions on Election Day. In addition to its work in Iowa, AARP will conduct a full-scale voter engagement campaign that includes polling, advertising, events, content, video voters’ guides, and more.

The Des Moines Register is Iowa’s premier source for news about the state’s presidential caucuses. Since 1943, the Register has provided exclusive insights into the opinions of Iowans through its Iowa Poll, and since 1980, it has partnered with other organizations to host caucus debates and forums.

The forums will be livestreamed at www.DesMoinesRegister.com and open to credentialed media. Below is a list of locations, dates and candidate speaking times.

Des Moines

Monday, July 15 2:00 p.m. Sen. Cory Booker
2:30 p.m. Gov. John Hickenlooper
3:00 p.m. Sen. Amy Klobuchar
3:30 p.m. Vice President Joe Biden


Tuesday, July 16 2:00 p.m. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
2:30 p.m. Rep. Eric Swalwell
3:00 p.m. Secretary Julián Castro
3:30 p.m. Sen. Kamala Harris

Cedar Rapids

Wednesday, July 17 2:00 p.m. Rep. Tim Ryan
2:30 p.m. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
3:00 p.m. Rep. John Delaney
3:30 p.m. Sen. Michael Bennet

Sioux City

Friday, July 19 2:00 p.m. Sen. Elizabeth Warren
2:30 p.m. Marianne Williamson 
3:00 p.m. Rep. Beto O’Rourke
3:30 p.m. Andrew Yang

Council Bluffs

Saturday, July 20 2:00 p.m. Sen. Bernie Sanders
2:30 p.m. Mayor Pete Buttigieg
3:00 p.m. Gov. Steve Bullock
3:30 p.m. Mayor Bill DeBlasio