UPDATE (7:49 PM): President Donald Trump tweeted about Gillibrand’s withdrawal by mocking her candidacy, and the chance of any Democratic nominee beating him in the general election, saying that it was “a sad day for the Democrats,” and that he was “glad they never found out that she was the one I was really afraid of!”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has become the seventh major candidate to withdraw from the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
Gillibrand, who made the announcement in an interview with the New York Times, had largely marketed hers as a campaign that was focused on her identity as a woman, and thus talked frequently about women’s issues.
In particular, Gillibrand had branded herself as a leader of the “Me Too” movement that led to many women making allegations of sexual assault, some uncorroborated, against high-profile men such as politicians and celebrities. She was one of the leading voices in the Senate to call for the resignation of her colleague Al Franken (D-Minn.), after a photo emerged of him groping a sleeping woman, alongside other allegations.
Gillibrand made a point of her feminism in both of the first two debates, but failed to gain any traction in the polls. Although she had amassed over 100,000 individual donors to her campaign (30,000 shy of the minimum required amount), she had qualified in only one poll and was unlikely to make it to the third and fourth debates.
The announcement comes just several hours before the deadline to qualify for the third Democrat debate, which will be held on September 12 in Houston, Texas. ABC News will be hosting the debate, which is now likely to be held on just one night instead of two due to only ten candidates qualifying.
Gillibrand, the junior senator from New York, previously served one term in the House of Representatives from the 20th District, after being elected in 2006. As her term came to an end, she was appointed to take the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton after she was chosen to be Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. Gillibrand then won election in her own right in a special election in 2010, before being re-elected in 2012 and 2018.