Democrats featuring ‘rising stars’ in convention keynotes
The Democratic National Convention will highlight 17 “rising stars” in its keynote address Tuesday evening rather than the traditional single speaker.
Scheduled speakers include former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, as well as Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), who was an early backer of former Vice President Joe Biden. Lamb’s victory has been cited as a model for Democrats to compete in districts won by President Trump.
Other scheduled speakers during the keynote include several state lawmakers, such as Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, Nevada state Sen. Yvanna Cancela and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
“Amidst all of the chaos and crises our nation is facing, Democrats are focused on finding new and innovative ways to engage more Americans than ever before — because that’s how we’ll mobilize the nation to defeat Donald Trump in November,” convention CEO Joe Solmonese said in a statement. “The convention keynote has always been the bellwether for the future of our party and our nation, and when Americans tune in next week they’ll find the smart, steady leadership we need to meet this critical moment.”
The keynote speaker’s slot is viewed as a springboard for a higher profile within the party. Past keynote speakers at the Democratic convention include then-Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama in 2004, then-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro in 2012 and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in 2016.
Initially scheduled for Milwaukee, the 2020 Democratic convention was moved to an entirely virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other speakers slated for Tuesday night include former second lady Jill Biden and former President Clinton.
Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), will both deliver their addresses from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. Other scheduled speakers include Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).