Updated Jul 30, 2019 - Health

Kirsten Gillibrand on the issues, in under 500 words

Kirsten Gillibrand

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Editor's Note: Gillibrand dropped out of contention for the Democratic presidential nomination on Aug. 28, 2019. Below is our original article on her candidacy.

Kirsten Gillibrand is a Democratic senator from New York known for her #MeToo advocacy and positions to protect sexual assault victims. Once a moderate congresswoman from a red district, she made a progressive turn after becoming senator.

Key facts:

  • Current position: New York senator — 10 years served
  • Age: 52
  • Born: Albany, New York
  • Undergraduate: Dartmouth
  • Date candidacy announced: March 17
  • % of votes in line with Trump, per FiveThirtyEight: 11.7% (lowest of any senator)
  • Previous roles: U.S. Representative (N.Y.-20), corporate attorney, 2000 Hillary Clinton Senate campaign

Stance on key issues:

  • Foreign policy: Aims to emphasize diplomacy, alliance-building and bringing American troops home.
  • Climate change: Released a plan to reach 100% clean electricity in a decade and phase out fossil fuels.

Key criticisms:

  • Conservative track record: During her time as a member of the conservative Democrats Blue Dog Coalition when she represented New York's 20th district, Gillibrand had an 'A' rating from the NRA and opposed amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
  • Al Franken: Some Democrats remain upset that Gillibrand worked to oust Franken from the Senate without a hearing.
  • Staff sexual harassment: One of Gillibrand's staffers resigned over the handling of a sexual harassment complaint against an aides, showing her office to be at odds with her public persona as a champion of sexual harassment victims.

1 fun thing:

Per Politico, her former nickname was "Elbows" because of her "aggressive manner on the squash courts of Dartmouth."

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