Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren to visit Georgia next weekend

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is soon headed to Gwinnett County to meet with activists, becoming the first presidential candidate to make a public visit to Georgia after formally entering the 2020 race.

The Massachusetts Democrat will appear at Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville on Saturday, Feb. 16 for what's billed as an "organizing event" to rally supporters behind her bid for the White House.

It’s the latest sign that Democrats are serious about competing for Georgia’s 16 electoral votes after a spate of Republican defeats across metro Atlanta’s suburbs and the near-miss by Stacey Abrams.

Just about every presidential hopeful visited Georgia last year to stump with Abrams and other Democrats — and lay the groundwork for their campaigns — as the party circles the state as a potential battleground.

A string of visits by other Democratic candidates in the increasingly crowded race for president will soon follow.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren will make a campaign stop in Gwinnett County on Feb. 16, 2019. The U.S. senator from Massachusetts is shown during a rally for Georgia gubernatorial candidate   Stacey Abrams back in October at Clayton State University in Morrow.  (Photo: ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

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Warren kicked off her bid for president on Saturday with a pledge to combat economic inequality and fighting "corrupt" corporate greed. She also tried to put to rest questions surrounding past assertions claiming a Native American identity.

The Lawrenceville visit is part of Warren’s seven-state organizing tour that includes stops at each early-voting state. And the selection of Gwinnett as a launch point for her campaign in Georgia was another symbol of the county’s fast-changing politics.

The suburb was for decades solidly Republican territory, but Hillary Clinton narrowly carried Gwinnett in 2016 and Abrams dominated the county in November. It's now a must-win for any Democratic candidate for statewide or federal office.

It's also the heart of the 7th Congressional District,  which is attracting a large field of competitors after Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall announced last week he would not seek another term.

Woodall narrowly held the seat in November, winning the closest House race in the nation. The runner-up, Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux, has already announced plans to run again, and many other candidates from both parties are considering bids.