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SIOUX CITY -- Four Democratic presidential candidates have agreed to debate in Sioux City in late July as part of a series of forums sponsored by AARP and a media partner.

The five forums, also organized by The Des Moines Register, will be held July 15-20 in five cities in Iowa, site of the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. Besides Sioux City, sites include Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport and Des Moines.

Twenty Democratic presidential candidates have agreed to participate in the forums, although one of those, Eric Swalwell, a congressman from California, ended his campaign Monday.

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The July 19 event in Sioux City begins at 2 p.m. with Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson taking part. All four have previously campaigned in Sioux City, with Williamson being the most recent.

These are invitation-only events for AARP members, and the audience at each forum will be composed of 200 to 250 Iowans. Each candidate will have 25 minutes on stage to answer questions from both moderators and the audience.

“Older voters turn out in force in every election, so any candidate who wants to win in 2020 needs to focus on soaring prescription drug prices and other issues they care about,” said John Hishta, AARP senior vice president of campaigns.

“These forums will put candidates on the record, and older voters will be watching.”

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The forums begin in Des Moines on July 15, with Cory Booker, John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Others who plan to participate include Kirsten Gillibrand, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, John Delaney, Michael Bennet, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Steve Bullock and Bill de Blasio.

President Donald Trump has been invited to share his views with AARP members ahead of the general election.

AARP has sought to spur nonpartisan voter engagement for more than 30 years, providing voters with information on where the candidates stand on issues important to older voters and their families, so they can make their own decisions on Election Day, Hishta said.

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County & Education Reporter

Government and education reporter.

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