Kirsten Gillibrand joins growing Democratic presidential field with 'Late Show' announcement

·Senior Editor

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced Tuesday she will run for president in 2020, becoming the latest candidate to enter what is shaping up to be a crowded Democratic field.

“I’m filing an exploratory committee for president of the United States tonight,” Gillibrand said in an appearance on CBS’s “The Late Show.”

<span class="s1">Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at a watch party Nov. 6, when she was re-elected. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP)</span>
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at a watch party Nov. 6, when she was re-elected. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP)

Asked by host Stephen Colbert why she had decided to enter the race to challenge President Trump, Gillibrand portrayed herself as a champion of those not represented in the current political system.

“Well, 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 grow up on, and I believe that anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to get 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 that impossible, which is taking on institutional racism, it’s taking on the corruption and greed in Washington, it’s taking on the special interests that write legislation in the dead of night. And I know that I have the compassion, the courage and the fearless determination to get that done.”

Over the past year, Gillibrand, the junior senator from New York, has emerged as one of the most recognizable faces of the #MeToo movement. But with Tuesday’s announcement she becomes the third female Democrat to declare her presidential ambitions, behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. California Sen. Kamala Harris is expected to enter the race soon as well.

Gillibrand has already been a target for Trump, who fired off what some regarded as a sexist jab at the New York senator in 2017.

Gillibrand wasted little time in firing back at the president that same day.

In a video posted to her campaign’s website, Gillibrand touted her role in passing legislation repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as well the health care bill for 9/11 first responders. It also portrays her as “unafraid” to take on Trump, the man she would face in the general election if she prevails in the Democratic primary.

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