Senator Gillibrand
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New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand confirmed Tuesday night that she is running for president in 2020

January 15, 2019 08:18 PM

Let the political games begin.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has confirmed she is running for president in 2020.

Grabbing Stephen Colbert’s hands in a clip released ahead of the Tuesday night’s show, Gillibrand, 52, announced she is throwing her cap in the ring alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and former Obama administration official Julian Castro.

“I’m filing an exploratory committee for President of the United States — tonight,” she said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbertreferring to the first step candidates can take.

As to why she wants to take on the country’s top job, put simply, she wants to stand up for other moms and their children.

“As a young mom, I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own,” Gilbert told the host. “Which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege.”

“It’s why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids because it shouldn’t matter what block you grow up on,” the mother of two continued. “And I believe anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to earn their way into the middle class.”

“But, you are never going to accomplish any of these things if you don’t take on the systems of power that make all of it impossible — which is, taking on institutional racism, taking on corruption and greed in Washington, taking on the special interests that write legislation in the dead of the night. And I know that I have the compassion and the courage and the fearless determination to get that done.”

As she begins the formal process, the New York State Democrat will make an important trip to Iowa this weekend, according to the Associated Press. So far, Gillibrand and Warren are the only senators who have announced their intentions to join the 2020 presidential race.

Other high-profile Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker — a friend of Gillibrand’s — are widely expected to join the race.

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While not as nationally recognized as Harris, Gillibrand, a two-term senator, has built a reputation as a fierce dissenter of President Donald Trump and his administration.

Once a more moderate Democrat during her time serving as a Congresswoman for rural upstate New York, she has since sharpened her political priorities, including a push for gun reform.

Kirsten Gillibrand (second from left) with her family
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Gillibrand has previously called upon the president to resign over the sexual assault allegations that came out against him. The president has denied these allegations.

In a December interview with CNN’s Van Jones, she spoke out against White House’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents and said that the president’s “nasty language” wouldn’t scare her away from a presidential bid.

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“I do feel it is a moral question and this is where my faith drives me,” Gillibrand said when asked if she would run for president, noting that she was considering the possibility.

“I do believe in these moments of great darkness, of great pain, of great suffering, of great division, of great hatred, that all of us are called to do something, to change that, to restore the light, to restore what is good in our world,” she continued. “And I feel very called at this moment to fight as hard as I possibly can to restore that.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

More recently, Gillibrand protested the ongoing government shutdown — now the longest in American history. She tweeted a list of issues that Congress should be focused on instead of funding Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico.

“President Trump is using the American people as a bargaining chip, and his shutdown is holding our government hostage,” Gillibrand tweeted on Sunday. “Instead of wasting time discussing his wasteful, ineffective border wall, here are all the issues Congress could be tackling instead.”

In eight succeeding tweets, she listed a range of issues that she deems important — from approving “Medicare for all” and increasing the minimum wage, to environmental protections that will fight climate change.

Beyond these issues, Gillibrand explains on her website that one of her top priorities is to strengthen the American economy by helping everyday Americans get good jobs and supporting small businesses.

“She is determined to make sure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to reach their potential,” the senator’s website explains, “and she has consistently been a voice for the voiceless across New York and all around the country.”

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