Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert

Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandMaloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee She Should Run launches initiative to expand number of women in political process 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 TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' 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.”

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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 ClintonDemocrats ask judge for quick ruling on McGahn subpoena Hillary Clinton: 'Every day Stephen Miller remains in the White House is an emergency' The Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race 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 FrankenTake Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show 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 Gabbard2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa 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 Warren2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul 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 BidenJoe Biden2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul 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.