By now you’ve heard: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is ending her run for president.
Take a second to watch her video announcing the news. It’s powerful:
The WomenCount team has been especially saddened, because Sen. Gillibrand is one of the biggest boosters of women’s political participation and of WomenCount as an organization.
Her Senate campaign as well as her PAC, Off the Sidelines—which encourages women to donate, speak up, and run for office—were among the first partnerships WomenCount forged when we introduced our crowdfunding platform. They’ve continued to be our most enthusiastic partners over the last four years. (Wow, has it really been that long?) But our relationship with her goes back even further: then-Rep. Gillibrand spoke at WomenCount’s launch event in 2008 when we first formed this organization.
Sen. Gillibrand was also the engine behind the creation of our sister organization, Electing Women Alliance, a national network of local and statewide giving circles aimed at focusing female fundraising power.
And earlier this year, Sen. Gillibrand had nothing but encouragement when we said we’d be using the WomenCount platform to raise for all of the qualified women candidates, and not playing favorites. Because she knows that women’s success lies in our collective power.
Because she has been such a champion of women getting off the sidelines to run for office, it took so much courage for her to realize that 2020 might not be her time, and to exit the race on her terms: With more determination than ever to elect a Democratic president and win back the Senate in 2020.
That kind of self-awareness and recognition of your responsibility as a leader in our political system—that’s brave. And as Sen. Gillibrand has said every day on the campaign trail, brave wins.