Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) revealed on Friday that in the wake of her failed presidential run, she has decided to re-launch her political action committee to help elect Democratic women ascend to political office.
“Some of my most inspiring moments over the past year were the times I met and spoke with young girls on the campaign trail,” Gillibrand wrote on Twitter. “They were so excited to see not just one, but SIX women running for president.”
“Watching us showed these girls that there’s no limit to what they can do if they put their minds to it — and if we show them we have their backs,” she continued. “Setting that example is a responsibility I take seriously, so while my campaign may have ended, I’ve never felt more clarity of purpose.”
Gillibrand became the second female senator of the 2020 election cycle to jump into the presidential race, when she announced in January 2020 that she was launching an exploratory committee.
As a staunch left-wing advocate for women’s issues and vocal supporter of the Women’s March, Gillibrand’s presidential campaign largely focused on intersectionality, feminism, and gender politics, as she tried to carve out a niche for herself in the crowded Democratic primary field.
However, the Democratic lawmaker ended her campaign in August after she had been struggling to gain traction in her bid for the presidency. The presidential hopeful failed to qualify for the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) primary debates during the fall, in what many political strategists considered to be a critical benchmark for any campaign.
Not only was Gillibrand not able to meet the fundraising threshold requiring donations from no less than 130,000 individual donors, but she had also failed to meet the polling threshold, which required candidates to receive at least 2% support in four or more DNC-approved national polls. In fact, her polling was so low that she was often omitted from national polls altogether.
Accordingly, when she ended her presidential campaign, she had an average support of less than 1% of the vote. In fact, the only fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate that she polled ahead of, at the time of her withdrawal from the race, was former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA).
“For as long as I’ve been in public service, I’ve been driven by the belief that we need more women at the decision-making table in our country,” Gillibrand said. “Women still make up less than a quarter of Congress, women of color even a smaller share. We have some work to do.”
The New York senator initially founded the political action committee (PAC) five years ago as a “call to action to encourage every young woman and girl to make their voice heard on the issues they care about,” according to its website. Since its inception, the PAC has raised nearly $5 million, and with the re-launch, Gillibrand hopes to raise another million dollars.
“Today, I’m relaunching Off The Sidelines with a goal to support and raise at least $1 million for Democratic women candidates,” she continued. “Can I count on you to be with us in this fight?”