By The Associated Press
Several Democratic presidential candidates are spending the long holiday weekend on the campaign trail.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris are visiting early voting states on Friday that will be critical to securing the Democratic nomination next year.
Gillibrand is in New Hampshire to participate in a walking tour of downtown Concord before visiting businesses in Dover and meeting members of the LGBT community in Somersworth. New Hampshire is home to the nation’s first presidential primary.
Harris is in South Carolina, where she’ll hold a town hall in North Charleston. The South Carolina primary is the nation’s first-in-the-South contest and is a crucial test of African-American support.
While much of the focus is on the Democrats competing to become president, there’s also a campaign beginning on the Republican side. William Weld, a former Massachusetts governor who ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, said Friday he has created a presidential exploratory committee.
Weld is the first Republican to take a serious step toward challenging President Donald Trump in 2020.
Weld’s move makes Trump the first incumbent president since George H.W. Bush in 1992 to face a notable primary challenge. Trump remains very popular with Republicans so faces little risk in losing the GOP nomination.
But primary challenges often foreshadow trouble ahead for incumbent presidents. Bush and Jimmy Carter lost their bids for a second term after facing challenges from inside their own party.