Gillibrand formally launches presidential campaign

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

WASHINGTON — US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand formally launched her presidential bid on Sunday morning, announcing she will deliver her first major speech next week in front of Trump International Hotel in New York City.

Gillibrand, who launched an exploratory committee earlier this year as a precursor, joins more than a dozen other Democrats who have already formally entered the contest to win the nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

“We need a leader who makes big, bold, brave choices. Someone who isn’t afraid of progress,” Gillibrand says in a video released Sunday morning to formalize her entry into the campaign.

“That’s why I’m running for president. And it’s why I’m asking you for your support.”

Gillibrand, 52, had already been campaigning in key states that hold early primary contests. She has struggled to see her polling numbers increase in the wake of her initial announcement, a benefit some of her other opponents enjoyed after starting their campaigns.

Gillibrand remains at 1 percent in most public opinion polls of the Democratic primary.

Gillibrand opted to use a video instead of a speech at a rally, the traditional method, to formally launch her campaign.

She will travel on Monday to campaign in Michigan, followed by stops in key early contest states of Iowa and Nevada.

On March 24, Gillibrand will deliver a launch speech in her home state in front of Trump International Hotel in New York City, to take “her positive, brave vision of restoring America’s moral integrity straight to President Trump’s doorstep,” her campaign said.

The launch video released Sunday morning alludes to several policy debates, including immigration, gun control and climate change.

“We launched ourselves into space and landed on the moon. If we can do that, we can definitely achieve universal health care,” Gillibrand said in the video. “We can provide paid family leave for all, end gun violence, pass a Green New Deal, get money out of politics and take back our democracy.”

Gillibrand has sought to position herself as a unifying figure who can appeal to rural voters. — Reuters