Sanders "yes" makes 10 presidential candidates at CNN's LGBTQ town hall

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has accepted the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's invitation to appear at a CNN town hall next week focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer issues, bringing the number of Democratic presidential candidates participating in this historic event to 10.

Citing a scheduling conflict, Sanders initially declined the invitation, but his campaign has since informed HRCF and CNN that the senator will now attend. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and businessman Andrew Yang both declined HRCF's invitation, each citing scheduling conflicts.

The October 10 event in Los Angeles will air from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET and feature two Democratic presidential candidates appearing back-to-back each hour throughout the evening and taking questions from audience members and a CNN moderator.

The town hall, which HRC bills as the "Power of our Pride," will air exclusively on the CNN television and digital platforms and coincides with the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day on October 11.

All times below are in Eastern.

  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker will be interviewed by CNN's Dana Bash at 7 p.m.
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will be interviewed by Bash at 7:30 p.m.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden will be interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper at 8 p.m.
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be interviewed by Cooper at 8:30 p.m.
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo at 9 p.m.
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris will be interviewed by Cuomo at 9:30 p.m.
  • Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke will be interviewed by CNN's Don Lemon at 10 p.m.
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar will be interviewed by Lemon at 10:30 p.m.
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will be interviewed by CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson at 11 p.m.
  • Businessman Tom Steyer will be interviewed by Henderson at 11:30 p.m.

Invitations to participate in the LGBTQ-focused town hall were extended to Democratic presidential hopefuls who met the DNC's qualifications for the October 2019 primary debate. Candidates must have reached 2% in at least four national polls identified by the DNC to determine eligibility. The polls for this town hall must have been released between June 28, 2019 and September 25, 2019. In addition, candidates also needed to meet the donor threshold outlined by the DNC for the October debate, in which the candidates had to receive the financial support of 130,000 unique donors, including 400 donors each from at least 20 states.

A HRCF spokesperson said the audience will be comprised of invited guests, LGBTQ stakeholders and members of civic organizations. No public tickets will be available for the event, which will take place at The Novo.

By Mark Preston, CNN via The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

The Gayly. 10/2/2019 @ 12:12 a.m. CST.