Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is headed to Iowa amid speculation that he is gearing up to mount a campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Garcetti is planning a two-day swing through Iowa in mid-April with appearances scheduled in the state's largest media markets, according to Politico. The trip will be centered around a keynote address to Democratic activists in Scott County, the state's third largest county. Apart from the speech, the mayor is scheduled to tour a training center operated by the Union Brotherhood of Carpenters in Altoona, Iowa and will also get some face time with the mayor of Iowa's largest city when he tours Des Moines.
Garcetti advisor Yusef Robb confirmed the planned trip to Iowa. Robb told the Des Moines Register that the mayor was working to support Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections and was interested in learning what is on the minds of Iowa voters.
"We are proud to play a role where we can to support Democrats across the country, especially given how critical these midterms are," Robb said. "In addition, we want to spend some time with the people of Iowa and learn what’s on their minds and how we can work together to move each other and our country forward at a time when there’s so little leadership from Washington."
The secretary of the Scott County Democrats, Elesha Gayman, told Politico that Garcetti's vocal support for immigration and sanctuary cities was vital to the group's decision to extend the mayor an invitation to speak.
"A lot of individuals are looking at him as a real leader in human rights and there was definitely interest in him," Gayman said.
Garcetti fueled speculation he was eyeing a 2020 presidential run during a trip to New Hampshire last August. Garcetti was there to campaign for Joyce Craig, who was vying for the mayoralty of Manchester, New Hampshire. Craig was ultimately successful in her campaign to lead the state's largest city.
The Iowa trip will make Garcetti the first prospective presidential candidate to visit all four of the first nominating states this cycle. In addition to visiting New Hampshire last summer, he attended the Democratic National Committee’s meeting in Las Vegas in October and traveled to Columbia, South Carolina to promote his "Accelerator for America" nonprofit last month.