Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is officially joining the 2020 presidential race, adding to a crowded Democratic field that’s already shaping up to be one of the biggest in decades.
The New York senator made her announcement in a short video called “Brave Wins,” two months after telling the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” she was exploring a run.
America needs a leader “who makes big, bold, brave choices,” she said in the video. Another message on her campaign’s website sought to explain why she expects to rise above the rest of the pack.
“With such a strong and exciting field of candidates running for the Democratic nomination, why is Kirsten the woman for the job? Because of who she is, what she’s accomplished and who she would be fighting for as president,” the message said.
Gillibrand, who replaced Hillary Clinton in the Senate, has positioned herself as a leader of the #MeToo movement. She was the first senator to call on former Senator Al Franken to resign after multiple women accused him of inappropriate behavior, and has relentlessly pushed to overhaul how the military handles allegations of sexual assault and harassment during a decade in the Senate. Last year, she tweeted that the future is female.
She boasts more than 1.3 million Twitter followers, but whether that will translate into good showings in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina remains to be seen.
Joe Biden let it slip yesterday that he’s also about to add his name to the race.
“I have the most progressive record of anybody running,” he told a room full of family and friends gathered for a Delaware Democratic Party dinner, stopping himself just before he referred to what he might be running for. The home state crowd responded with cheers, and after a few seconds playing up the situation, he added, “anybody who would run.”
Gillibrand is one of several Democratic women expected to vie for the nomination, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
The Albany-born candidate had said she was thinking about challenging Trump to restore “moral decency,” after stating in a 2018 debate she’d serve a full six-year term if re-elected. She received 67 percent of the vote in the solid-blue state.
The New York senator will probably also face questions about her ideological transformation. She disowned views on immigration and guns held when she represented a conservative upstate House district as a moderate Blue Dog Democrat. She has long supported “Medicare for All” as well as paid family leave.