As absentee voting starts up in Minnesota, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will be in Duluth area Friday for his first campaign visit in the state.
The event is scheduled for the afternoon at the Jerry Alander Carpenter Training Center in Hermantown.
The campaign has not publicly disclosed details of the visit, at least in part because organizers say they are adhering to a crowd limit and COVID-19 precautionary standards. While there are a small number of reporters approved to cover the event, campaign officials have not approved the News Tribune's request to have a photographer document the visit with photos and video. Photos from traveling wire service photographers have been offered instead.
The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party will hold a gathering at 1:45 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 53 and Lavaque Road in Hermantown to show support for Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris.
President Donald Trump will also be campaigning in northern Minnesota on Friday, with an afternoon visit planned in Bemidji.
U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, a Republican representing Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, and others said the head-to-head visits Friday would offer voters a chance to size up the differences between Biden and Trump and what their respective policy platforms would mean for Minnesota.
“This president stood up for the Iron Range and the miners on the Iron Range," Stauber said.
Democrats took swings, too, ahead of the president's visit in Bemidji, raising concerns about the lacking federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and divisive language put forth by the president and Republicans.
"While Joe Biden will talk with voters in Duluth about his plans to build back better after this pandemic, Donald Trump will undoubtedly spew dangerous lies about the state of our country in hopes of distracting Minnesotans from the reality of his failed administration," Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chair Ken Martin said. "Minnesotans are not going to be fooled."
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, a Democrat and a member of the White Earth Nation, also said Trump's visit would not be welcome among Indigenous people who live in northern Minnesota after the administration has failed to address the risks COVID-19 poses to those communities and after Trump and others have ignored tribal sovereignty.
"As Trump visits Bemidji tomorrow, I want to make sure that I highlight the detrimental impact he has had on tribes across the country," Flanagan said. "Donald Trump has completely dismantled any semblance of a nation-to-nation relationship between the federal government and our tribal nations."