Nine Democrat Presidential Candidates Taking Part in LGBT Town Hall Marathon


CNN and the gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) are hosting a marathon town hall with nine Democrat presidential candidates on Thursday in Los Angeles from 7:30 p.m. until midnight.

“The town hall, which will take place on the eve of National Coming Out Day, will mark the first time in history that a major cable news network will air a presidential event devoted to LGBTQ issues,” the HRC website states of the event.

HRC has dubbed the town hall “Power of our Pride.”

CNN reported that Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) won’t attend the town hall after suffering a heart attack last week. His campaign staff told CNN that he will be on stage for the Oct. 15 primary debate in Ohio.

CNN announced the names of the nine candidates who will be at the town hall, and the times they will be interviewed by CNN staff:

  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker will be interviewed by CNN’s Dana Bash at 7:30 p.m.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden will be interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper at 8 p.m.
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be interviewed by Cooper at 8:30 p.m.
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be interviewed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo at 9 p.m.
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris will be interviewed by Cuomo at 9:30 p.m.
  • Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke will be interviewed by CNN’s Don Lemon at 10 p.m.
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar will be interviewed by Lemon at 10:30 p.m.
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will be interviewed by CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson at 11 p.m.
  • Businessman Tom Steyer will be interviewed by Henderson at 11:30 p.m.

CNN reported on the details of its town hall: 

Invitations to participate in the LGBTQ-focused town hall were extended to Democratic presidential hopefuls who met the DNC’s qualifications for the October 2019 primary debate. Candidates must have reached 2% in at least four national polls identified by the DNC to determine eligibility. The polls for this town hall must have been released between June 28, 2019 and September 25, 2019. In addition, candidates also needed to meet the donor threshold outlined by the DNC for the October debate, in which the candidates had to receive the financial support of 130,000 unique donors, including 400 donors each from at least 20 states.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and businessman Andrew Yang both declined HRCF’s invitation, each citing scheduling conflicts.

A HRCF (Human Rights Campaign Foundation) spokesperson said the audience will be comprised of invited guests, LGBTQ stakeholders, and members of civic organizations. No public tickets will be available for the event.

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