Amy Klobuchar set to announce presidential bid with rally in Minneapolis

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez, Grace Segers

/ CBS News

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is entering the 2020 presidential race on Sunday, joining a record number of women in the most diverse Democratic primary field in U.S. history.

Supporters braved frigid temperatures in Minneapolis, where Klobuchar was set to speak along the Mississippi River Sunday afternoon.

Klobuchar is the fifth major woman candidate to launch a campaign for the Democratic nomination, joining fellow senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

A former county attorney, Klobuchar was first elected to Senate in 2006 and easily won reelection to a third term in 2018 with a 24-point margin. She is known for her willingness to work in a bipartisan fashion, and has sponsored 111 pieces of legislation that have been signed into law.

In 2009, Klobuchar voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. She is pro-choice and supports LGBT rights. She also has an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Klobuchar is a member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, and made a name for herself for her calm yet incisive questioning of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during the contentious hearings in September. After telling him about her father's struggles with alcoholism, she asked Kavanaugh whether he had ever experienced a "blackout." He retorted, "Have you?" The moment quickly went viral, and Kavanaugh later apologized.

She was the sole senator from Minnesota until the resolution of the contested Senate election from January to July 2009, which Al Franken eventually won. When Franken was accused of sexual harassment in December 2017, Klobuchar did not call for Franken to step down, unlike many other senators. Franken resigned shortly after the allegations came to light.

"I felt I was in a different role as his colleague, that I'm someone that has worked with him for a long time, there's a lot of trust there, and I felt it was best to handle it in that way," Klobuchar told CNN at the time about why she did not call on him to resign.

Klobuchar has also faced scrutiny over several news reports detailing a pattern of abusive treatment towards her staff, which has reportedly hindered her efforts to recruit campaign personnel.

First published on February 10, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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