Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has been receiving an influx of small campaign contributions in preparation for her likely 2020 presidential run, helping to offset the loss of mega-donors who withdrew their backing from the New York senator.
Gillibrand faced backlash throughout 2018 for leading the campaign to remove former Sen. Al Franken from office after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. Franken, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, was once considered to be “one of [Democrats’] best weapons against [the Trump] administration” due to his placement on multiple Senate committees, a Democratic donor told Politico.
Following her vilification of Franken, a number of large Democratic donors pulled back on their support for Gillibrand, indicating that they would no longer help fund a run for president.
However, the loss of major donors has not financially crippled Gillibrand’s presidential campaign thus far. The New York senator had $17.5 million in the bank as of November, $5.5 million of which came from small-dollar donations, reported The Atlantic. Of the rumored 2020 presidential contenders, Gillibrand raised the second highest dollar amount, only behind Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Gillibrand has not officially announced that she is launching a bid for the presidency in 2020, but she disclosed in November that it is still under consideration, despite promising prior to her midterm election that she would serve her full six-year term if re-elected to the Senate.
The list of Democratic senators who are mulling over their own challenge to Trump in 2020 is continuing to grow. Following midterm elections, Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota both announced they are considering a presidential run.
Other senators who are rumored to be planning a presidential run include: Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont . Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana predicted that as many as “13 or 14” senators could end up running.
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