Gillibrand Ends Presidential Bid

Kirsten Gillibrand /

WASHINGTON – The list of Democrat Presidential candidates is shrinking with Send. Kirsten Gillibrand announcing she is withdrawing from the race.

Gillibrand said not qualifying for the next debate was “fatal” to her campaign.

“I know this isn’t the result that we wanted,” the 52-year-old New York senator said in an online video in which she didn’t endorse any other 2020 Democratic White House hopeful. “But it’s important to know when it’s not your time.”

On the eve of Wednesday’s qualifying deadline, Gillibrand sat down with her family and decided that if a pair of polls set to be released the following morning didn’t help her meet the polling threshold, she’d drop out.

Both ultimately showed her at 0%.

To get to the U.S. House, Gillibrand had topped an incumbent Republican in a conservative part of upstate New York in 2007, and she was appointed to the Senate two years later, filling the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. She later retained the seat during a 2010 special election, as well as in 2012 and 2018.

Vocal in the Senate on curbing sexual harassment and military sexual assault, and promoting equal pay for women and family leave, Gillibrand made those and her staunch defense of abortion rights the core of her presidential bid. She stood out in the packed Democratic presidential field by becoming the first to declare she’d only appoint judges to the Supreme Court who consider the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide settled law, though most of her competitors quickly followed suit.

Gillibrand also used her run to highlight systemic racism and white privilege, speaking on the subject frequently on issues such as mass incarceration, urban gun violence and maternal mortality rates for black women.

She initially hoped to stay in the race in a bid to qualify for October’s debates, but her financial situation made that impossible. Gillibrand finishes with just $800,000 left in her campaign bank account. That means she spent well over $7 million, just since June 30.

A campaign aide said Wednesday that getting media coverage that could help boost Gillibrand’s polling and fundraising had become too difficult. Gillibrand met with staff at her campaign headquarters in Troy, New York, on Wednesday afternoon to tell them her race was over.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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