Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert

Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandResurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' Court orders EPA to make final decision on banning controversial pesticide Buttigieg says he wouldn't be opposed to having Phish play at his inauguration MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday announced she was setting up an exploratory committee for the 2020 presidential race, becoming the latest Democrat to wade into what is expected to be a crowded primary to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE.

Gillibrand’s announcement came during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” days ahead of a scheduled weekend visit to Iowa, the crucial first-in-the-nation caucus state.

“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, which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege,” Gillibrand said.

“It’s why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids, because it shouldn’t matter what block you grew up on,” she continued. “And I believe that 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.”

Gillibrand, 52, said she was forming an exploratory committee — a key step in a presidential campaign that allows her to begin raising crucial campaign cash and hiring staff before she formally enters the race.

Minutes after “The Late Show” released a video clip of the senator’s announcement, Gillibrand tweeted that she is “the woman for the job,” linking to a newly launched campaign website.

The New York Democrat, who was first appointed to succeed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Former Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad' Seth Rich's brother calls for those pushing conspiracy to 'take responsibility' MORE in the Senate in 2009, has seen her national profile balloon in recent years, especially with the advent of the "Me Too" movement in 2017.

She became the first Democratic senator to call on then-Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenWinners and losers from first fundraising quarter Election analyst says Gillibrand doesn't have 'horsepower to go the full distance' Gillibrand campaign links low fundraising to Al Franken backlash: memo MORE (D-Minn.) to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Gillibrand’s announcement came days after two other Democrats entered the 2020 nominating contest.

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSeveral 2020 Dems say they're ready to face Fox News town hall More than one in 10 in new poll say men are 'better suited emotionally' for politics Buttigieg second most talked-about candidate on cable news shows: analysis MORE (D-Hawaii) unveiled her presidential ambitions on Friday, telling CNN’s Van Jones in an interview that she has “decided to run” and would make a formal campaign announcement in the coming days.

A day later, Julián Castro, a former Housing and Urban Development secretary, announced during a press conference that he had decided to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. He formed a committee to explore a potential White House run last month.

Gillibrand enters the race with a higher national profile than either Castro or Gabbard, giving her an advantage in the earliest days of the 2020 election cycle.

But she’ll also have to compete against Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenResurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' The STATES Act will expose flawed marijuana legacy Impeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent MORE (D-Mass.), another giant in Democratic politics, who announced on New Year’s Eve that she had formed an exploratory committee ahead of an expected presidential run.

What’s more, several other Democrats, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenResurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems face tricky balancing act after Mueller report MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersResurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers MORE (I-Vt.), are weighing White House bids and are expected to announce their decisions in the coming weeks.

Taken together, the slew of presidential announcements and expected announcements raise the prospect of a Democratic primary field that could include dozens of candidates divided along generational and ideological lines.