Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand held her first press conference this morning as a 2020 presidential candidate in her home state of New York.  She announced Tuesday night that she is forming an exploratory committee to run for president, throwing her hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination in an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

 

"I have the passion and courage and fearless determination to get this done," she said during her announcement Wednesday morning. "I'm going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom, I will fight for your children, as my own health care should be right not a privilege."

Gillibrand is the second U.S. senator — and second female senator — to announce plans to begin the legal process of running for the Democratic presidential nomination. The 52-year-old is one of the most active and outspoken critics of President Trump and she earned acclaim from party activists when she began voting against all of the president's Cabinet and senior government nominees in early 2017.

She joins a Democratic presidential field that is beginning to take shape. Over the weekend, former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary Julián Castro formally launched his presidential bid, while Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren launched an exploratory committee on New Year's Eve. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said over the weekend she plans to form an exploratory committee in the coming days. Several other senators, current and former governors and mayors, and former Vice President Joe Biden are still mulling potential campaigns.