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Watch parties to dissect 2020 Dem hopefuls

With a crowded Democratic field looking to take on President Donald Trump, the activist group Oregon District 2 Indivisible will host local watch parties to see each candidate’s 2020 vision.

The first night’s watch party will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Grape Street Bar & Grill in Medford. The debate will feature Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Ashland will play host to the second night’s event, which will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at Liquid Assets, a wine and cocktail bar. It will pit former Vice President Joe Biden against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with California Sen. Kamala Harris; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet; California Rep. Eric Swalwell and self-help author Marianne Williamson.

“Everybody should be watching and fully engaged in the political process,” said Teresa Safay, a member of ORD2 Indivisible’s steering committee and the group’s event coordinator. “The benefit of everyone coming together would be that we can discuss the candidates’ answers and gather different opinions.”

ORD2 Indivisible will provide guides from its national organization to help attendees evaluate the candidates’ backgrounds and stances on key issues. After the debate, the group will discuss how the candidates performed, Safay said. The events are part of a broader push by the national Indivisible organization for its local chapters to get community members engaged in progressive politics at this stage of the Democratic primary.

Indivisible, which was founded after the election of President Trump, works to advocate for progressive values and help elect officials in strong opposition to the president’s agenda, Safay said. The group is particularly concerned about the Trump administration’s rejection of democratic norms.

“We are going to look for the candidate that best projects the progressive values that we hold dear,” Safay said.

The debates will last two hours, and can also be seen on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

Contact Mail Tribune reporting intern Joe Wolf at jwolf@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4368 and follow him on Twitter @JoeCharlesWolf.

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