New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand formally threw her hat in the presidential ring Sunday morning, marking the “official” launch of her bid for the Democratic nomination. Gillibrand had already announced an exploratory committee in January during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, making her “re-entrance” into the 2020 race not just a foregone conclusion but a bit of a redo after the 52-year-old failed to make much headway in the increasingly crowded Democratic field during the last two months traveling to key states.
“We need to remember what it feels like to be brave,” Gillibrand said in a campaign launch video released Sunday morning. “We launched ourselves into space and landed on the moon. If we can do that, we can definitely achieve universal health care. We can provide paid family leave for all, end gun violence, pass a Green New Deal, get money out of politics and take back our democracy. None of this is impossible.” “We need a leader who makes big, bold, brave choices. Someone who isn’t afraid of progress,” Gillibrand said. “That’s why I’m running for president. And it’s why I’m asking you for your support.”
Gillibrand’s formal entrance into the race makes her one of six women in the running for the Democratic nomination. Since her high profile first announcement two months ago, which technically heralded her creation of an exploratory committee, Gillibrand has been largely crowded out of presidential coverage by Senate colleagues Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, and further pushed toward the fringes by the arrival of Sen. Bernie Sanders and New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker. Gillibrand is currently polling at around 1 percent, a number she’ll obviously need to improve to impact the race, but also a threshold she’ll need to stay above in order to be included the Democratic debates.
“[Gillibrand will] begin her official campaign with a trip to Michigan, a once solidly blue state that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton lost to Trump,” CNN reports. “Her first week as a declared candidate will include a visit to the early voting states of Iowa and Nevada, and culminate with her speech on March 24 in front of the Trump International Hotel.”