The latest Democratic candidate to enter the presidential race, Amy Klobuchar, is a third-term senator who overwhelming won re-election last year in her home state of Minnesota.
Klobuchar, 58, is known for putting partisanship aside to pass legislation, a fact that has earned her a large following in Minnesota. She won re-election in November with 60 percent of the vote in a state that President Donald Trump nearly won in 2016.
Klobuchar is also known for her unpretentious and reasoned demeanor, and willingness to focus on more centrist legislation, a contrast to more confrontational and progressive Democrats who are vying for control of the party.
In the Senate, Klobuchar has led efforts to cut the cost of prescription drugs, expand voting rights and protect online privacy. She has also helped pass several bills involving consumer protection.
The senator drew attention for her style of questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused during his nomination process of sexual assault. Klobuchar pressed him on the issue of whether he ever blacked out from alcohol use, leading him to angrily ask her “Have you?” Klobuchar replied “I have no drinking problem, Judge,” and Kavanaugh later apologized.
Klobuchar drew on skills she learned from her years as a prosecutor in Minnesota. She grew up in the Minneapolis suburbs and later attended Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. She was a corporate lawyer in Minneapolis until being elected the chief prosecutor for Minnesota’s most populous county. Her father was a journalist and her mother an elementary school teacher.
She won her first Senate race in 2006, becoming Minnesota’s first elected woman senator. She was re-elected in 2012 and 2018.
Klobuchar is the fifth senator to enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, following Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey. She is also the fifth woman to seek the nomination, in a field that also includes Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
Political experts say the Democratic Party could see a field of nearly 20 candidates.
In a crowded field, Klobuchar is hoping her Midwestern roots can help her stand out. The Midwest could play a crucial role in the 2020 race after being important to Trump’s victory in 2016. The region had previously backed Democrats in presidential contests for decades, but Michigan and Wisconsin voted Republican in 2016, a fact Democrats have said they will make a priority to reverse.