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Kirsten Gillibrand drops out of US 2020 race

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand campaigns in Iowa

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has ended her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Mrs Gillibrand announced her decision to withdraw in an online video after failing to qualify for a third Democratic debate next month.

“After more than eight incredible months, I am ending my presidential campaign,” she said.

The 52-year-old has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights but her campaign failed to gain traction.

“I know this isn’t the result we wanted. We wanted to win this race,” she said. “But it’s important to know when it’s not your time, and to know how you can best serve your community and country.”

Mrs Gillibrand was appointed to her seat in the US Senate in 2009, when Hillary Clinton accepted the role of US secretary of state under former president Barack Obama.

Since then, she has won her re-election bids easily and remains popular in New York.

She had one of the largest financial pools to draw from of all the 2020 candidates, with around $10m (£7.7m) in her campaign coffers following her re-election last year.

She has been an outspoken supporter for the #MeToo movement as well as advocating for victims of sexual assault on college campuses and in the military.

The September debate-qualification scythe has claimed another victim. Kirsten Gillibrand didn’t hit the necessary donor or poll numbers to make the stage and appeared unlikely to rebound for the October event. With her political oxygen running out, she heads for the exits.

Although the New York senator’s campaign never caught fire – or even showed signs of a spark – she was once considered an up-and-comer in the party with presidential buzz. Young and charismatic. Ms Gillibrand had positioned herself as the candidate of the #MeToo movement, becoming an outspoken advocate for women’s issues.

That may have also been her downfall, however. Her early calls for the resignation of Minnesota Senator Al Franken following sexual harassment allegations were viewed as a betrayal of a well-liked politician by some on the left. She also alienated Clinton loyalists when she said President Bill Clinton should have resigned after his Oval Office sex scandal.

With Ms Gillibrand’s exit, there are 20 Democrats left in the field. Expect the herd to shrink more in the coming days, as those not debating wonder what it’s worth to stay on the campaign trail with scant attention and dwindling funds.

Kirsten Gillibrand drops out of US 2020 race

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