Kirsten Gillibrand Drops Out Of 2020 Presidential Race
WASHINGTON – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., dropped out of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday, after having failed to make the stage for the third Democratic candidate debate.
Gillibrand, who positioned herself as a progressive and strong advocate for women’s issues, has suffered from a lack of enthusiasm from donors and the public since kicking her campaign off in March.
In leaving the race, she said she will support whoever the nominee is, “and I will do whatever it takes to beat Trump.”
In retrospect, it seems Gillibrand was a victim of her own past success. In 2006, she won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives flipping a Republican district by positioning herself as a fiscally-conservative Democrat who supported the 2nd Amendment and opposed amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Following Senator Hillary Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State in 2009, N.Y. Gov. David Paterson selected Gillibrand to fill Clinton’s vacated Senate seat. Gillibrand won a special election in 2010 to keep the seat, and was re-elected to full terms in 2012 and 2018.
Gillibrand pointed to her House race as proof she could garner bipartisan support in the presidential election, but in doing so she said she was “embarrassed” by many of her early positions.
Gillibrand garnered national attention when she became the first Democrat in the Senate to call on former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken to step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women.
More than two dozen Senate Democrats followed suit, and Franken quickly vacated his seat while denying most of the allegations against him.
As a candidate, she hewed to the progressive side of the spectrum, which in the Senate she voted against more of President Donald Trump’s nominees than any other Democrat.
In announcing her candidacy, Gillibrand said, “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.”
But her announcement may have been the highpoint of her campaign. Over the course of her five month campaign, she managed to raise only $5.3 million from donors, and polls showed her consistently below 2% in support from likely 2020 voters.
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