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Jim Webb lines up primary state visits

Posted at 2:24 PM, Mar 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-12 14:24:49-04

WASHINGTON — Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb will visit Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in the coming months, stacking his schedule with visits to early presidential primary states as he “seriously considers” a 2016 run.

Webb, a Democrat, will first travel to South Carolina, where the former senator will headline a fundraiser for House Democratic Leader Todd Rutherford and Richland County State Rep. Mia McLeod on March 18 in Columbia. The next day Webb will meet with the state House and Senate Democratic caucuses and hold a press availability, according to this spokesman.

Last month Webb’s staff announced that the possible presidential contender would headline the Polk County Democrats awards dinner in Iowa on April 10.

“I’ve been looking forward to getting back to Iowa and eager to meet more hard-working Democrats who are looking for leadership we can trust,” he said in a statement.

Webb will do interviews with Jan Mickelson’s WHO radio show while in Iowa, and his spokesman said to expect more events during the the visit.

On his way to Iowa, Webb will stop in Chicago on April 8 for a speech and question-and-answer session at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. David Axelrod, one of President Barack Obama’s top campaign strategist in 2008 and 2012, will run the event.

Webb is also planning a trip back to South Carolina on May 25 and plans to visit New Hampshire in early June.

Visits to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are common for politicians eying a run at the presidency and Webb’s schedule is meant to stoke speculation around a possible run.

Webb has said he is “seriously considering” a bid but hasn’t gone much further than that and has tried to avoid attacking Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party’s frontrunner.

He has struck a populist tone in speeches and on Twitter, a platform the former senator has used heavily to get his message out.

“The grand bargain that has been the foundation of our entire society is simple: if you work hard and elect leaders who will insist on a fair chance for you to succeed, you will have a good income and a comfortable way of life,” Webb said this week at the International Association of Fire Fighters’ annual conference in Washington. “This simple concept is now at risk.”