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Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Amy Klobuchar makes first stop in Michigan

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

Minnesota Senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar made her first campaign stop in Michigan on Friday.

The Democratic candidate told the National Organization of Black County Officials that she wants to wrap up some of President Obama’s “unfinished business.” That includes passing a major infrastructure investment bill, and pressing forward on the president’s signature legislation expanding health care.

“I will stand up for the Affordable Care Act,” Klobuchar said. “I think we need to improve it with a public option.”

Klobuchar says systemic racism remains a problem, particularly in the criminal justice system. She vowed to fight what she calls voter suppression efforts in many states, and stop the purging of voter rolls.

“Yet we have a president, after Charlottesville, who said there were two sides, right? Many sides,” Klobuchar said. “No. There’s only one side when you’re dealing with the Ku Klux Klan.”

Klobuchar told the local government officials that the “chaos” in Washington has provided them with more challenges and more opportunities. She referred several times to her time as prosecutor in Hennepin County, Minnesota, saying she understood the challenges local officials face. Her record as prosecutor has been come under some sharp scrutiny since she announced her candidacy for president.

Klobuchar also briefly touched on her strategy for tackling mental health and substance abuse issues, which includes plans for more beds in treatment centers and more funding for behavioral health research. She estimates the plan would cost $100 billion, which she would pay for in part with a tax on opioid medications.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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