On January 15, 2019, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced an exploratory committee for a run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, becoming the second senator to make her interest in the 2020 race official.
The New York lawmaker is running on a strong message that women are the future of the Democratic Party, fitting her profile as a young mom known for #MeToo advocacy and a crackdown on sexual assault in the military. Over recent years, she has evolved from a centrist Democrat to a progressive one who endorses Medicare-for-all and universal paid family leave. She has repeatedly introduced a bill in Congress called the FAMILY Act, which would provide 12 weeks of paid leave for new mothers and fathers.
Gillibrand made the announcement during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, during which she cast herself as a unifying figure who can bring the country together. “You have to start by restoring what’s been lost, restoring our leadership in the world,” she said.