The New York senator stated she will be running for president in 2020 and she will soon form the presidential exploratory committee, the announcement was made on CBS’ “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to join the 2020 presidential race, as she announced on Tuesday in a taping of CBS’ “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert. She is already working on assembling an exploratory committee and is already scheduled to travel to Iowa for her first campaign swing this weekend.
Senator Gillibrand will be the newest heavy-hitter in what will likely be a crowded Democratic primary, joining Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro, former US congressman John Delaney, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
Gillibrand has one of the most progressive voting records in the Senate, has been a fierce critic of the president in Washington, and spent the last few years championing women in politics. She also stated she will be running as a mom:
“I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I’d fight for my own, which is why I believe healthcare should be a right, not a privilege; it’s why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids because it shouldn’t matter what block you grew up on; and I believe that anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to earn their way into the middle class.”
The New York senator has already recruited Meredith Kelly, the former head spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. And the headquarters for her 2020 campaign is set to be a historic building from downtown Troy, New York. Gillibrand has also been very vocal in Washington on sexual harassment and assault topics, waging a years-long fight against sexual misconduct in the workplaces, in the military and at universities long before the #metoo movement. She also made a huge outreach to young people and communities of color.
Due to deeply anti-Trump voters she easily won reelection to the Senate last year with 67% of the vote. The fact that she’s a woman could be an asset if the party prioritizes breaking the glass ceiling in 2020. However, her criticism of high-ranking men has angered some would-be supporters and even members of her own party. She stated that the former president Bill Clinton should have resigned, and was among the first to call out Senator Al Franken, a close friend and ally, as well as also leading the Democratic caucus in pressuring him to leave office in December 2017 following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.
While Gillibrand was celebrated for taking leadership on the issue, many Democrats criticized the move: “What KG is being maligned for is believing women,” stated Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. George Soros, a prominent Democratic funder, said that she would not be getting his support and called her an “opportunist” who spoke out against Franken to bolster her own political brand. The senator’s allies are also privately concerned that many voters agree with this.
There is no dominant early front-runner in what is expected to be a crowded Democratic nominating race to take on Trump, the likely Republican nominee. Some in the party believe an establishment figure who can appeal to centrist voters is the way to victory, while others argue that a fresh face, and particularly a diverse one, is needed to energize the party’s increasingly left-leaning base.