© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Stacy Abrams (D), former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, speaks at the 2019 National Action Network National Congress in New York
By Trevor Hunnicutt
(Reuters) – On Tuesday, the second night of the party's nomination convention, the Democrats will highlight 17 young politicians they consider "rising stars," including former Vice President Stacey Abrams.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the party to reinvent the convention and scrap Milwaukee crowds and balloons in favor of virtual events from across the country.
The 17-person keynote spreads the limelight typically used to make a person stand out as millions are expected to prepare for the proposed formal nomination of former Vice President Joe Biden.
President Barack Obama's 2004 speech about defeating the partisan division introduced the Americans to the then-Senator of Illinois. Four years later, he became the party's presidential candidate with Biden as his deputy.
"These young voters will offer a variety of different ideas and perspectives to move America forward, but they will all be talking about the future we are building together," Democratic organizers said in a statement on Sunday.
The decisions are aimed at highlighting the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of the party. Abrams, a black politician who lost a close race to the governor of Georgia and is now focused on the right to vote, was seen as a possible ally for Biden before choosing Senator Kamala Harris.
The President of the Navajo Nation, Jonathan Nez, will also speak during the keynote. Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela, of Cuban descent who helped get Biden runner-up in the highly competitive state's democratic caucus; Florida's Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who became the first woman to hold the position; and Rep. Conor Lamb, who won a "swing" district in Pennsylvania that helped the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in 2018.
Security teams installed tall black security fences around the Wisconsin Center, the official site of Congress, on Sunday, although there will be minimal attendance this week. The fencing and some lamppost banners were among the limited evidence in sparsely populated downtown Milwaukee that the convention was taking place.
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