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Amy Klobuchar: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candidate

Amy Klobuchar announces her presidential bid
Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Democrat Amy Klobuchar is a senator from Minnesota known for her pragmatism and effective legislating. She has championed bills covering topics ranging from drug pricing to regulating big tech.

Key facts about Amy Klobuchar:

  • Current position: Senator from Minnesota  — 12 years served
  • Age: 58
  • Born: Plymouth, Minnesota
  • Undergraduate: Yale University
  • Date candidacy announced: Feb. 10, 2019
  • % of votes in line with Trump, per FiveThirtyEight: 30.8%
  • Previous roles: Hennepin County attorney, corporate lawyer

Amy Klobuchar's stance on key issues:

  • Health care: Klobuchar is one of two Democratic presidential candidates who signed a letter backing Medicare Advantage, the growing alternative to traditional Medicare.
  • Climate change: She's one of the backers of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal. In her campaign announcement, she also mentioned ambitious goals for climate legislation.
  • Criminal justice: Klobuchar supported the bipartisan First Step Act, a reform of the federal prison system, in the Senate.
    • At an Axios event, Klobuchar, whose father suffered from alcoholism, spoke personally to the treatment vs. prison debate: "Treatment changed my dad's life. In his own words, he was 'pursued by grace.' I think other people should have the same right."
  • Drug pricing: She urged the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on "pay-for-delay" pharmaceutical deals.
  • Sexual harassment: Klobuchar successfully pushed for legislation mandating sexual harassment training in the Senate.
  • Data privacy: She sponsored a bill that proposed regulations for Facebook's data practices. She also was the lead sponsor of legislation that would regulate online political ads.
  • Opioids: She co-sponsored a bill that would impose a one-cent tax for each milligram of opioids in a pain pill. The funds for the tax would then be used for substance abuse treatment.

Key criticism of Amy Klobuchar:

  • Staff treatment: Multiple media outlets have detailed Klobuchar's alleged history of emotionally abusive treatment of her staff.
  • Pragmatism: Klobuchar hasn't embraced parts of progressive agenda — including on Medicare for All and free college — like many of her fellow 2020 Democratic hopefuls.
  • "Minnesota Nice": A recent New York Times article asks whether a "calm, reasoned, reliable (but not flashy) Democrat" like Klobuchar is what the party needs to fight President Trump.

1 fun thing about Amy Klobuchar:

  • According to a Vogue profile, "[s]he loves to brag that when she first ran for Senate, no one would take her calls, so she raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends."

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the other 2020 candidates

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