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Tuesday, May 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Iowa debut trip for potential 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren

Vice President Mike Pence administers a ceremonial Senate oath during a mock swearing-in ceremony to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., accompanied by her husband Bruce Mann, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP)
Vice President Mike Pence administers a ceremonial Senate oath during a mock swearing-in ceremony to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., accompanied by her husband Bruce Mann, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP)
By Thomas Beaumont Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa – Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is making her first visit to Iowa as a likely presidential candidate, testing how her brand of fiery liberalism plays in the nation’s premier caucus state.

The visit was combining events at bars, community centers and theaters with more intimate gatherings in private homes. For someone known for her ability to rouse crowds with her takedowns of Wall Street and President Donald Trump, the trip offered Warren a chance to forge more personal connections with the state’s activists and powerbrokers.

“I’d like to see how she deals with people one-on-one, that interaction between her and regular folks,” said Jan Bauer, the Story County Democratic chairwoman, who planned to attend a small-group meeting with Warren in Ames on Saturday.

Warren was scheduled to hold public events in western Iowa on Friday evening and Saturday morning, and appear in Des Moines for a gathering Saturday evening. They were intended to give Warren a chance to speak to larger audiences and allow her team to begin logging names and contact information for those interested in more information.

She also planned to meet privately with small groups of party activists before the public events, and hold two invitation-only gatherings, in Ames and Des Moines on Saturday.

“I’m really more interesting in more the organization she’s building, that her folks know what it takes to be effective in a caucus,” Bauer said. “So far, I’ve been very impressed.”

Iowa’s caucuses, local political meetings held statewide and run by the party, are scheduled to begin the 2020 nominating campaign in February 2020.

Warren, who announced Monday she had formed a presidential exploratory committee, has moved quickly to gain an advantage in the state. Beyond her visit, Warren this week named several key political staff hires, each of whom has Iowa campaign experience.

Other Democratic presidential prospects are expected to announce their plans in the coming weeks, and have been in touch for weeks with party leaders, activists and potential staff in Iowa.

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