New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is dropping out of the presidential race, after failing to qualify for the third Democratic primary debate in September. Gillibrand posted a video to Twitter announcing that she was ending her campaign on Wednesday.
“I know this isn’t the result that we wanted. We wanted to win this race,” Gillibrand said in the video. “But it’s important to know when it’s not your time, and to know how you can best serve your community and country. I believe I can best serve by helping to unite us to beat Donald Trump in 2020.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Gillibrand said that she could not see “our path” to victory without qualifying for the third debate. Gillibrand reached neither the polling nor donor thresholds necessary to qualify.
“I think being able to have a voice on a debate stage, when other candidates have that, is really important,” Gillibrand said. “And without it, I just didn’t see our path.”
Gillibrand, who focused much of her campaign on women’s issues, is the first woman to drop out of the race. Gillibrand currently fills the Senate seat once held by Hillary Clinton.
She told the Times that she plans to endorse a candidate in the primary race, but that she has not yet decided who she’ll endorse.
“I think that women have a unique ability to bring people together and heal this country,” Gillibrand told the Times, although she stopped short of saying that she would endorse another woman candidate.
Gillibrand, who appeared in the first two debates, did not have a breakout moment on either stage, although she did briefly attack frontrunner Joe Biden for opposing a 1980s bill that would have expanded a child tax credit.
Ten candidates have qualified for the third debate, excluding several current and former members of Congress, senators, and the one sitting governor who is still running.
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