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Jun 4, 2019
AARP and The Des Moines Register Announce Iowa Presidential Candidate Forums

En español | 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 O. 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 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
Davenport, 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
About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
About Gannett
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an innovative, digitally focused media and marketing solutions company committed to strengthening communities across our network. With an unmatched local-to-national reach, Gannett touches the lives of more than 125 million people monthly with our Pulitzer-Prize winning content, consumer experiences and benefits, and advertiser products and services. Gannett brands include USA TODAY NETWORK with the iconic USA TODAY and more than 100 local media brands, digital marketing services companies ReachLocal, WordStream and SweetIQ, and U.K. media company Newsquest. To connect with us, visit
For further information: Colby Nelson, AARP, 202-434-2560,