Presidential contenders O’Rourke, Gillibrand visit Michigan

CENTER LINE, Mich. (AP) — Two Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning in the Detroit area a year before the state’s primary.

Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, made three stops Monday. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York participated in a town hall hosted by MSNBC and had another stop scheduled.

Democrats are emphasizing Michigan early after Donald Trump in 2016 became the first Republican to win the state in decades.

At a stop in Macomb County, a man asked O’Rourke how Democrats can win back blue-collar white workers who supported Trump. O’Rourke said Trump has successfully “exacerbated the divisions” among Americans, but Democrats must “be above it.”

Gillibrand says Michigan is similar to upstate New York, where she is from. She says Michigan voters “felt left behind” in 2016, and she’s committed to helping “every person in this country.”