Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In an announcement that probably made Republicans a little nervous, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) kicked off a U.S. Senate campaign this morning, hoping to take on Sen. Susan Collins (R) next year. Collins is literally the only Republican in Congress from New England.
* In South Carolina on Friday night, 21 Democratic presidential candidates attended Rep. James Clyburn’s (D) famous fish-fry event. None of the contenders threw any jabs at a rival. A day later, the candidates also spoke at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention.
* Also over the weekend, 20 Democratic candidates spoke at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s “We Decide: 2020 Election Membership Forum.” (Disclosure: my wife works for Planned Parenthood, but she has no role in the Action Fund and was not involved in this event.)
* Eight of the Democratic presidential hopefuls also spoke on Friday at a Miami forum organized by Telemundo and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).
* Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) didn’t participate in any of the events, choosing instead to deal with an issue in South Bend: the death of a local black man at the hands of a white police officer. Buttigieg hosted a town-hall event and heard quite a bit from angry constituents.
* As hard as this may be to believe, the Democratic presidential field got a little bigger over the weekend: former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), who left Congress eight years ago, kicked off his national campaign on Saturday. Sestak ran failed U.S. Senate bids in Pennsylvania in 2010 and 2016.
* Among the new policy proposals we’ll see today from 2020 Democrats is Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) plan to cancel student-loan debt, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-Texas) proposal to address veterans’ concerns, and former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) immigration blueprint.
* And in case there were any doubts, NBC News’ Chuck Todd asked Donald Trump yesterday whether Mike Pence will be the Republicans’ vice presidential nominee again in 2020. The president replied, “Well, look, 100%, yes.”