Gillibrand drops out of US presidential race (Lead)
New York, Aug 29 (IANS) New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who made feminism and women’s equality the main focus of her presidential campaign, has dropped out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, leaving 20 candidates still in the running.
In a video posted on her official Twitter account on Wednesday, Gillibrand announced the end of her campaign, which never aroused much interest among Democratic voters; the latest example of the lack of excitement generated by her candidacy was the fact that she failed to qualify for the party’s next televised debate, Efe news reported.
"After more than eight incredible months, I am ending my presidential campaign," she said.
"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."
Gillibrand thanked her supporters and asked them to "now, let’s go beat Donald Trump and win back the Senate".
President Donald Trump, who has sneered at the latest casualties in the race to seize power from him in 2020, was quick to react to Gillibrand’s post on Twitter, saying that it was "a sad day for the Democrats".
"I’m glad they never found out that she (Gillibrand) was the one I was really afraid of," Trump said.
With Gillibrand’s exit, there are 20 Democrats left in the field.
The New York senator is the first of six female Democratic presidential candidates to drop out of the race, leaving three other women senators – Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Kamala Harris (California) and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) – in the running, as well as Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) and activist Marianne Williamson.
Gillibrand was appointed to her seat in the US Senate in 2009, when Hillary Clinton accepted the role of Secretary of State under former President Barack Obama, the BBC reported.
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 $10 milion in her campaign coffers following her re-election last year.
Gillibrand 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 party next debate will take place on September 12 in Houston, Texas.
Only 10 candidates have met both the criteria of obtaining a minimum number of unique campaign donors and a minimal percentage of support in the polls that are required to be on stage in Houston, including three of the five women contestants (Warren, Harris and Klobuchar).
Rounding out the list are former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Secretary of Housing Julian Castro, former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke and businessman Andrew Yang.