Senator Gillibrand ending her 2020 presidential bid

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FILE – In this Aug. 10, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. Gillibrand says she’s dropping out of 2020 presidential race amid low polling, fundraising struggles. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

WASHINGTON (WLNS/AP) – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, the candidate announced Wednesday.

The 52-year-old New York senator announced her decision on Twitter. She is the first senator to drop out of the crowded Democratic primary.

She was vocal in the Senate on curbing sexual harassment and promoting equal pay for women and family leave, Gillibrand made those and her staunch defense of abortion rights the core of her presidential bid.

Gillibrand has been in the running for the Democratic nomination since January, but this week she failed to qualify for the September debate.

Gillibrand topped an incumbent Republican in a conservative part of upstate New York to get to the U.S. House in 2007, and was appointed to the Senate two years later, filling the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, who was tapped to be U.S. secretary of state. Gillibrand later easily retained the seat during a 2010 special election, as well as in 2012 and 2018.

The two-dozen-plus Democratic presidential field had already begun to winnow before Gillibrand’s announcement. U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California left the 2020 race in July, followed by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts earlier this month.

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