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Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke schedules Phoenix event

PHOENIX – Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has scheduled a town hall event in downtown Phoenix this weekend.

The former Texas congressman will appear Sunday at The Churchill, a food court and social space at the corner of First and Garfield streets, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

O’Rourke will head south for a similar event later that afternoon at Gentle Ben’s Brewing in Tucson. That town hall near the University of Arizona is scheduled for 3-5 p.m.

According to his campaign, O’Rourke plans to talk about the treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers by the Trump administration as well as former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

O’Rourke has also recast his campaign around gun control after the August mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso.

Polling has shown O’Rourke struggling to gain traction among national Democratic voters after becoming a party darling for his strong but unsuccessful bid to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018.

The Real Clear Politics tracker shows O’Rourke polling at just 2.1%, far behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the only three candidates in double digits.

In August, Warren held a town hall event at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.

Sanders canceled his upcoming national events Wednesday after undergoing a heart procedure for a blocked artery.

O’Rourke isn’t the only Democratic hopeful coming to the Valley this week.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is holding a private fundraiser at a Scottsdale residence Friday that requires a minimum donation of $500.

Booker was on the brink of pulling out of the race last month, but he surpassed a self-imposed fundraising goal of $1.7 million over the last 10 days of September.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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