DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democrats searching for potential presidential candidates may find some in an unlikely place: city hall.

A handful of Democratic mayors from around the country are considering the race in 2020, taking early steps in Iowa, which holds the first major contest of the presidential campaign.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti plans to visit Iowa Friday in hopes that his experience running a big city and facing touchy issues like immigration might distinguish him in a field with few traditional contenders.

No mayor has ever gone straight from city hall to the White House, though former mayors have served as president. But could a mayor make the leap? "I don't see why not," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, among the Democrats seeking to raise their profiles.

He and other mayors say they aren't worried about the idea that Americans might want candidates who have more experience at the national level. After all, Republican President Donald Trump was elected without ever holding office. And mayors often claim a closer connection to their constituents than that of U.S. senators and representatives.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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