It looks like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is poised to announce her 2020 presidential campaign in the next few days. According to the Associated Press, the New York Democrat has shared her plans with a number of people close to her, and intends to form an exploratory committee regarding her presidential aspirations.
Gillibrand has a busy week ahead of her, and sources were unclear on when specifically she will be making the official announcement. The senator is scheduled to appear on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, leading many to suspect she’ll use the platform to announce her candidacy.
While nobody seems certain about the specifics of the timing — a topic which remains a closely guarded secret in the Gillibrand camp — most seem to be certain that Senator Gillibrand will make the announcement before she heads to Iowa this weekend.
This move would make Gillibrand the fifth Democratic candidate as of this writing, and there are more who are poised to jump into the race as well. Other potential candidates include Julian Castro, who served in the Obama Cabinet, Representative Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, California’s Senator Kamala Harris, and Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey. While not all have made their plans official, each has at least toyed with the idea of making a bid for the White House in 2020.
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) January 14, 2019
Gillibrand’s time in Iowa will likely be used to bolster her numbers in the leadoff caucus state. Should she be able to curry favor with Iowa Democrats, the senator will be in a much better place to take on competition come the Democratic Primaries. After that, she’ll have to contend with a race that has potentially a dozen people vying for the White House.
Gillibrand has long been a passionate and outspoken political figure. She joined the Senate in 2009 after Hillary Clinton left to become Secretary of State. Since then, she’s been a powerful advocate for reform, and had no issue with calling out Donald Trump’s statements and policies.
The senator has also made a name for herself as a strident activist in the fight against sexual assault. Gillibrand was the first Senate Democrat to call for Al Franken’s resignation after allegations of sexual misconduct arose back in 2017. She’s also worked extensively to develop legislation that would fight sexual assault in the military, as well as on college campuses.
Reports indicate that Gillibrand will officially announce her exploratory committee at some point on Tuesday. Representatives from Gillibrand’s team have neither confirmed nor denied these statements.