Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced Wednesday she has ended her campaign for president.
The New York Senator was one of several women — including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Marianne Williamson — vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Gillibrand failed to gain the same traction as some of her Democratic rivals and as of Wednesday, did not meet the threshold to qualify for the third primary debate in September.
“We wanted to win this race. But it’s important to know when it’s not your time and to know how you can best serve your community and country,” she said in a video message posted on social media.
Today, I am ending my campaign for president.
I am so proud of this team and all we've accomplished. But I think it’s important to know how you can best serve.
To our supporters: Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Now, let's go beat Donald Trump and win back the Senate. pic.twitter.com/xM5NGfgFGT
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) August 28, 2019
Gillibrand, who announced her campaign in January of this year, put issues affecting families and women at the center of her platform.
In May, she released a plan for a "Family Bill of Rights " tackling a wide range of issues that include investments in maternal and child health, paid family leave, affordable child care, and universal pre-K.
In the second presidential primary debate, she confronted former Vice President Joe Biden for an op-ed he wrote in the 1980s in which he criticized expanding a child care tax credit. “I think we have to have a broader conversation about whether we value women and whether we want to make sure women have every opportunity in the workplace,” Gillibrand said at the debate. “When the Senate was debating middle-class affordability for child care…[Joe Biden] voted against it, the only vote, but what he wrote in an op-ed was that he believed that women working outside the home would, quote, ‘create the deterioration of family.’ He also said that women who were working outside the home were, quote, ‘avoiding responsibility.’"
In June, Gillibrand, a supporter of the Equality Act, which would ban loopholes that allow for discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, also announced sweeping LGBTQ+ proposals she would institute if elected, including a ban on conversion therapy.
Throughout the campaign she was dogged by criticism for being vocal in calling for Minnesota Sen. Al Franken's resignation amid allegations of groping and other sexual misconduct. While Gillibrand has repeatedly said she has no regrets about her decision, she said it angered many big Democratic donors and cost her donations.
In the video announcing her decision to withdraw from the race, Gillibrand admitted that although this was not the outcome she wanted, she was proud of the issues to which she brought attention. “Together, we have taken on the fights others wouldn’t. We've lead the fights that we can’t afford to lose for women and families — and moved the entire field along with us," she said. "We’ve put the civil rights of women front and center and never backed down when it comes to valuing them."
She made it clear that while she is no longer in the race for the White House, she plans to make her voice heard and help win back the Senate for Democrats in 2020.
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, a mission to which she says she remains committed.
"We have to defeat President Trump, flip the Senate, and elect women up and down the ballot," she said in the video.
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