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Kristen Gillibrand Raises $3 Million in 1st Quarter, Over 90% Small Donations

Kirsten Gillibrand at an AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) event to discuss expanding social security. (Photo: AFGE)
Kirsten Gillibrand at an AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) event to discuss expanding social security. (Photo: AFGE)

Sen. Gillibrand’s progressive views can be seen in her claims to take on “institutional racism” and her strong support for the Green New Deal.

Democratic New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand has raised $3 million in the first quarter of her presidential bid, according to her campaign’s communications director Meredith Kelly.

Kelly said the average online donation was $25 with 92% of contributions under $200. Sen. Gillibrand also has $10.2 million left over from her Senate reelection last year, putting her in the top four 2020 Democratic candidates for total funds.

Two-thirds of the campaign contributions came from women, according to Kelly. Sen. Gillibrand has been one of Congress’ strongest advocates of the #MeToo movement, pushing for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” introducing the Military Justice Improvement Act to reshape how sexual harassment claims are handled in the U.S. military, and calling for universities to change the manner in which they handle sexual assault claims.

Sen. Gillibrand was the first to push for the resignation of Democratic Senator Al Franken to resign after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced. While other Democratic senators supported her, others expressed frustration that Sen. Franken was forced to resign without a public hearing while the President has remained in office despite numerous accusations of sexual assault. Sen. Gillibrand’s campaign believes backlash from her decision to call for Sen. Franken’s resignation has hurt their fundraising efforts.

“There’s no question that the first quarter was adversely impacted by certain establishment donors – and many online – who continue to punish Kristen for standing up for her values and for women,” said the memo.

Sen. Gillibrand first ran for Congress in 2006 in a predominantly Republican district, winning an upset victory before succeeding in her 2008 reelection, the most expensive election in the U.S. that year. During her time as a representative, Gillibrand was a Blue Dog Democrat with an A rating from the NRA as an advocate for loose gun regulations. She has since shifted to become increasingly progressive, with the lowest percentage of votes aligned with President Trump of any senator.

Sen. Gillibrand’s progressive views can be seen in her claims to take on “institutional racism” and her strong support for the Green New Deal. In explaining her motivations to become president, Sen. Gillibrand said:

“I am going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom, I am going to fight for kids as hard as I would fight for my own. It is why I believe healthcare should be a right not a privilege. It is why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids, because it shouldn’t matter what block you grow up on. And I believe that anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to earn their way to the middle class, but you are never going to accomplish any of these things if you don’t take on the systems of power that make any of that possible.”

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Peter Castagno

Peter Castagno is a freelance writer with a Master’s degree in International Conflict Resolution. He has traveled throughout the Middle East and Latin America to gain firsthand insight in some of the world’s most troubled areas, and he plans on publishing his first book in 2019.

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