Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York dropped out of the 2020 presidential race on Wednesday after she failed to qualify for the third Democratic primary debate, scheduled for September 12.
“I think being able to have a voice on a debate stage, when other candidates have that, is really important,” said the 52-year-old Gillibrand. “And without it, I just didn’t see our path.”
“I think it’s important to know how you can best serve,” she said in a message announcing the end of her campaign. “Let’s go beat Donald Trump and win back the Senate.”
Gillibrand said that while she would support the eventual Democratic nominee whoever it may be, she would be particularly excited to see the party nominate a woman.
“I think that women have a unique ability to bring people together and heal this country. I think a woman nominee would be inspiring and exciting.” she said. “I will support whoever the nominee is, and I will do whatever it takes to beat Trump.”
Gillibrand centered her campaign around women’s rights, particularly abortion rights. She promised to nominate only judges who would support Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
The senator said she plans to endorse one of the other Democratic primary candidates, although she would not reveal whom.
Her former primary opponents offered warm words congratulating her on her run.
“Kirsten, you are my sister and one of the most righteous fighters I know. I’ll miss our run-ins on the trail, but women, New Yorkers, and all Americans are lucky to have you resolutely at their sides,” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who is running in 2020, wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you for being part of this race, Senator Gillibrand, and for your unwavering commitment to fighting for women—from reproductive rights to paid leave,” said Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. “Your voice has been strong and clear, and your determination is always on display. I’m proud to keep fighting alongside you.”