ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer on Thursday was named the keynote speaker at a major Iowa event that’s previously featured some of the top figures in the national Democratic Party.

New York’s senior senator will speak Nov. 2 at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Iowa. He will focus on the party’s platform for the middle class.

The event’s organizers say Schumer was chosen because of legislation he sponsored including a college tuition tax credit and a consumer protection measure for credit card users, and for securing relief funding after Superstorm Sandy.

“He provides a great Democratic message,” Iowa Democratic party Chairman Scott Brennan told The Des Moines Register. “He’s a real leader in the Senate. He’s just fantastic.”

Schumer said his message will be what the Democratic party does and will do for the middle class.

“I look forward to discussing our efforts to help the middle class and the importance of electing strong Democrats to grow our economy and move our nation forward,” he said in a statement.

Previous speakers have included former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore and Vice President Joe Biden. In 2007, then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi conducted a meeting at the dinner with presidential contenders, including then-Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

Schumer is known for his wide victory margins and for visiting all of New York’s 62 counties each year. He’s seen as a possible future Senate majority leader but said he’s not considering his own presidential bid.

“In 1964, I ran for president of my Cunningham Junior High School class. I lost. I swore then and there I’d never run for president again, and that’s still true today,” the Brooklyn native told The Associated Press.

Jefferson-Jackson dinners are major fundraisers for Democratic parties in several states. The events are named for Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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