Washington (AFP) - Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar is expected to throw her hat into the 2020 race for the White House, expanding the already unprecedented field of women seeking their party's presidential nomination to run against Donald Trump.
"I'm making a big announcement on Sunday. Join me there," the senator from Minnesota said late Tuesday on Twitter.
The 58-year-old is scheduled to headline a Democratic banquet and fundraiser on February 21 in Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation vote in the 2020 nominating process.
In a crowded field, Klobuchar's Midwestern roots could help her stand out, particularly in nearby states like Iowa and Ohio that Barack Obama carried but that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.
Klobuchar hails from a "breadbasket" state, part of the American heartland known for hard work, honesty and rural farming communities.
While many of the high-profile Democrats in the race are in the progressive lane, Klobuchar has quietly gained attention in Washington as a centrist.
She is known for putting partisanship aside to pass legislation, something that has earned her a devoted following in Minnesota. She was re-elected to a third term in November by a wide margin in a state that Donald Trump lost by under two points in 2016.
That could prove vital in a 2020 run, as she would need to win over Democrats and independents in former Democratic bastions like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, states with crippled manufacturing sectors and which voted for Trump in 2016.
Klobuchar would be the fifth woman -- including four in the Senate -- to seek the nomination.
Senators Kamala Harris of California, New York's Kirstin Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are now presidential hopefuls, as is congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
A number of male senators are either in the race (Cory Booker) or considering entering (Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown and Jeff Merkley). Former vice president Joe Biden and ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke also might jump in.
Klobuchar fiercely defends the rights of women, laborers, the working and middle class and consumers, and she is also a strong Trump critic, particularly on the issue of health care.
Her grandfather worked in the iron ore mines of northern Minnesota. Her father was a journalist and her mother was an elementary school teacher.
Her folksy, unpretentious demeanor could resonate with voters frustrated with establishment politicians.
"It's going to be a little cold," she told MSNBC about her Sunday announcement event. "Wear warm clothes. Maybe have, you know, little heat-warmers with you."