New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand effectively threw her hat in the 2020 presidential campaign ring Tuesday with the launch of her presidential exploratory committee.
Gillibrand announced her decision to run on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, saying “I’m going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom, I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own.”
The people of Iowa–the first state to caucus–won’t have to wait long to get a look at her. She’ll hold an event in Cedar Rapids on Friday night, and make stops in Ames, Des Moines, and Cedar Rapids during the weekend.
Politico reports that Gillibrand has $10.5 million left over from her recent, successful Senate re-election campaign, which should be enough to kickstart her presidential electioneering. She named long-time chief of staff Josh Fassler as her campaign manager last week.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) January 15, 2019
Gillibrand joins what will likely to be a large field of Democratic contenders, all vying for the chance to run against likely GOP nominee President Donald Trump–assuming he avoids impeachment or resignation and is renominated–in 2020. Fellow senator Elizabeth Warren announced she has formed an exploratory committee in December, and has already visited Iowa, where she was well received. Other Democrats who may join the race are California senator Kamala Harris, Texas representative Beto O’Rourke, and former VP Joe Biden.
Fast Company named Gillibrand to its Most Creative People in Business list in 2018. She’s been an outspoken advocate for women entering politics, and has been active in the #MeToo movement. She spoke about sexism in politics and other issues in a Fast Company interview in 2014 when her book Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World was published.
“Although the incumbent’s voting record in the House had been moderate, it has been more liberal in the Senate,” said Real Clear Politics of Gillibrand’s voting record.
Gillibrand was sworn in on January 2009 as the 111th Congress’s youngest member at 42 years old. In November 2012, she was elected to her first six-year Senate term after winning 72% of the vote and 60 out of 62 New York counties. In 2018 she defeated Republican Chele Chiavacci Farley by a comfortable margin to defend her Senate seat.