Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced Tuesday night that she will enter the 2020 race for U.S. president.
“I’m filing an exploratory committee for President of the United States, tonight,” she said in an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “As a young mom, I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own.”
She spoke about her desire to improve healthcare and public schools, and take on “systems of power” that too often lead to inequality. “I know I have the compassion, the courage, and the fearless determination to get that done,” she said in a clip posted by the show.
She’s the latest in a growing list of 2020 hopefuls that includes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, TX, and Obama administration official. Sen. Kamala Harris of California is expected to announce a presidential bid in the coming days.
Sen. Gillibrand currently serves as the junior senator from the state of New York. She was appointed in 2009 to fill the vacancy left by Sen. Hillary Clinton when she became Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. Prior to her appointment to the Senate, Gillibrand represented New York’s 20th congressional district from 2007 to 2009.
Throughout her time in the Senate, Gillibrand is seen as having become more progressive. She played an early role in the fight to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, which banned gay, lesbian, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military, and in the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which helped compensate first responders who became ill as a result of their work at Ground Zero. Her efforts to take the prosecution of military sexual assault out of the chain of command garnered bipartisan support from Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.
From the beginning of her tenure in Congress, Gillibrand has been an advocate for increased transparency. She became the first member of Congress to post her official public schedule, personal financial disclosure, and federal earmark requests online.
Gillibrand is a graduate of Dartmouth College and UCLA Law School. In 2014, she published her first book, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World while simultaneously launching the Off the Sidelines PAC to help get young women involved in politics.
Refinery29 has reached out to Sen. Gillibrand's team and will update this story when we hear back.