2:50 video "Our Story"  August 28, 2019

Gillibrand: Hey everyone,  I wanted you to hear it from me first that after more than eight incredible months I'm ending my presidential campaign.  I know this isn't the result we wanted.  We wanted to win this race.  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.

During this campaign I met some of the most inspiring, brave people all across this country, from Iowa to New Hampshire, from Georgia to Michigan.

Man: You had me in tears when you talked about disabilities.

Gillibrand clip: I will make sure your voice is heard.  I promise.  Thank you.  Thank you.
Woman: That means so much.

Gillibrand: First and foremost, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you've done for this team.  Thank you for volunteering, donating and committing to our campaign.

Gillibrand clip: You're kicking butt every single day.

Gillibrand: Thank you for sharing your stories with me.  Thank yo ufor opening up your living rooms, breweries and cycling studios.  Thank you for inspiring me and joining me in fighting for our future.

Gillibrand clip: Do you feel strong?  I think you should.

Woman: You stood true to your ideas, your values, and what you stand for.

Gillibrand: I'm so proud of this campaign and everything that we've achieved.

Gillibrand clip: So when someone says white privilege, that's all they're talking about is that his whitenness will mean that a police office might give him a second chance.

Gillibrand: Together, we've taken on the fights others wouldn't.  We've led the fights that we can't afford to lose, for women and families—and moved the entire field along with us.  We have put the civil rights of women front and center, and never backed down when it comes to valuing them.  We have moved the needle on fighting for families and their economic security, bringin issues like paid family leave from  the backburner to the presidential debate stage.  And we've shown the country what a real plan to combat political corruption looks like, take on greed and solve some of the biggest problems facing our children's future like gun violence and global climate change.  And of course, we've had a lot of fun along the way.

Woman: She's so strong.

Gillibrand: Our work is not done.  And we have a clear mission in front of us.  We have to defeat President Trump, flip the Senate, and elect women up and down the ballot.  I can't wait to keep speaking out, marching and fighting with you.  Together we  will make people's lives beter, no matter who you are, where you live or who you love.  And I know that together, we will win this fight.  Thank you so much for everything, and I'll see you soon.


Gillibrand 2020
TO: Interested Parties
FR: Jess Fassler, Gillibrand campaign manager
RE: Kirsten Gillibrand Departure From Presidential Campaign
DT: August 28, 2019

After more than eight months, and with clarity that she will not have access to the September debate stage, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is suspending her campaign for president today. While this is not the result we wanted, Kirsten is proud of her aggressive, innovative and policy-driven campaign, and has never been more optimistic about Democrats’ chances to defeat President Trump and lay the foundation for our country’s future.

In a historically large field, Kirsten distinguished herself as the fiercest fighter for women and families. She took bold stances that pushed her Democratic opponents to follow suit, from her Family Bill of Rights to the first comprehensive reproductive rights plan in the field. Overall, Kirsten rolled out more than fifteen policy proposals.

Kirsten maintained an aggressive schedule from day one. She held the most public events in the first quarter of the campaign, connecting with voters in living rooms, breweries and cycling studios across Iowa and New Hampshire. She kept up a relentless pace throughout, including her determined fight for women’s reproductive rights from the frontlines in Georgia, Missouri and on Fox News. Kirsten also led the charge in standing up to Donald Trump, officially launching her campaign in front of Trump International Hotel, laying out a foreign policy vision to contrast with Trump’s endless wars, and highlighting his broken promises to voters in the Rust Belt.

Our campaign earned praise for its strong infrastructure, creativity, digital strategy, policy rollouts, and a state-of-the-art field operation. We built deep ties on the ground, picking up endorsements from influential Iowans and Granite Staters. Despite a historically crowded field, and competitive fundraising and media environment, Kirsten’s campaign consistently generated breakout moments and notable press coverage, demonstrating clout far out-pacing her perceived status in the race.
There is dignity and strength in knowing when it’s not your time. Moving forward, Kirsten will focus on uniting our party and our country to beat Donald Trump, flip the Senate and elect women up and down the ballot—in addition to fighting as hard as ever for New York families in the U.S. Senate by continuing to take on the fights that others won’t. 


Competing in the largest presidential primary field in history, it was essential to develop a campaign and message that was unique and authentic to Kirsten. As such, Kirsten maintained a public schedule and policy-driven campaign designed to bolster her standing as the strongest fighter for women and families.

This message fit her years of advocacy, from her work to end sexual assault in the military, on college campuses and in the workplace, to introducing the first comprehensive national paid family leave plan in 2013. Her years dedicated to electing women further strengthened her profile, particularly in the wake of the 2018 midterms, when women ran and won in record numbers. 

As the Washington Post put it, “no one else is talking about reproductive rights nearly as much or as forcefully as Gillibrand.” Kirsten became the first candidate to pledge to only nominate judges and justices who recognize Roe v. Wade as settled law, prompting the rest of the Democratic field to follow suit. Immediately following passage of an abortion ban in Georgia, Kirsten traveled to the Georgia State House to release a comprehensive reproductive rights agenda. In August, Kirsten made a similar trip to Missouri to decry their impending abortion ban. 

Kirsten made the economic security of families a centerpiece of her campaign, vowing to fight for all American families as hard as her own. In May, Kirsten’s released her “Family Bill of Rights,” an economic policy platform designed to lift many of the financial burdens on families and help level the playing field for children. And she has continued to be the single best advocate for national paid leave in the country, with every congressional Democrat running for president backing her plan.

Kirsten’s courage and bravery to take on seemingly impossible fights was on full display throughout this campaign. She made clear that “Kirsten Gillibrand isn’t afraid of anything” and she spoke truth to power on Fox News about their role in eliminating women’s reproductive rights. Kirsten proved during the campaign that she continues to defy the odds and get things done, earning endorsements and support because she has the courage to speak up for what’s right.


The Des Moines Register editorial board called Kirsten “smart and wonky” and it’s clear why.

Throughout the campaign, Kirsten held countless public events focused on policy and released more than fifteen unique policies to transform America. This includes rolling out the most transformative Clean Elections Plan of any candidate, according to ethics expert Larry Lessig. As Mother Jones aptly noted, “Every Democratic Candidate Rails Against Citizens United. Kirsten Gillibrand Actually Has a Plan.”

In addition, Kirsten rolled out policies on climate change, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, marijuana legalization, democracy reform, rural America, national public service, prescription drug prices, Social Security, outsourcing, water infrastructure, gun violence, and disability rights.

Kirsten was also the first 2020 presidential candidate to release her 2018 tax returns and led the field with a commitment to not use stolen hacked materials in the campaign -- challenging the field to do the same. Many of her opponents followed.

Kirsten also took on serious, consequential and complicated issues and handled them with demonstrable expertise and thoughtfulness. In Youngstown, Ohio, Kirsten impressed the room and national observers by demonstrating her responsibility as a white woman to recognize and address white privilege. And despite constant pressure to back down in her support for women and survivors of sexual assault and harassment, she stood firm in her convictions and years of leadership on the issue.


An Associated Press analysis of the first three months of the campaign found that Kirsten had more public events than any other candidate.

In Kirsten’s ten trips to New Hampshire, she held 52 public events across all 10 counties, and was the first 2020 candidate to visit the North Country. In her ten trips to Iowa, Kirsten held more than 60 public events in 30 counties. Kirsten was the first 2020 candidate to announce an extensive Mississippi River tour to visit the pivot counties that flipped from Obama to Trump.

However, her travel wasn’t limited to early states. Just this summer, the campaign participated in 93 public events, in 47 cities across 12 different states, including Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado and California.

Her aggressive campaigning directly translated to endorsements. Kirsten received her first Iowa endorsement on her very first trip from Kyla Paterson, the first transgender chair of the Stonewall Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party. Kirsten Anderson, a leader of the #metoo movement in Iowa, endorsed Kirsten in April 2019.

In New Hampshire, Kirsten’s commitment to grassroots campaigning earned her the endorsements of several prominent Granite Staters, including former Shaheen legal advisor the Hon. Judy Reardon, former Grafton County Chair Rep. Sue Ford, Portsmouth Democratic Chair Laurie McCray, NH Democratic Women's Caucus Co-Chair Anne Ketterer, and Concord activist Kristyn Van Ostern.


Kirsten’s campaign consistently outstripped polling and proportionate coverage with creative, risk-taking tactics: a hot pink logo, a campaign kickoff rally in front of Trump International Hotel in New York City, the first candidate to participate in all three cable town halls, a two-day bus tour through Rust Belt states that voted for Trump in 2016, an ambitious early-state TV buy of over $1.6 million and non-traditional media appearances, including being the first candidate on Showtime’s Desus and Mero.

The campaign leaned into Kirsten’s fun and energetic personality, setting her apart from the field: sledding in New Hampshire, dressing up with drag queens in Iowa, arm-wrestling with college students for charity, and talking with voters and caucus-goers over whiskey.

The campaign took the early, and highly unusual, step of bringing all digital work in-house shortly after the official launch of the campaign — including advertising, email content and production, social media, video, design, SMS, and organizing. This robust investment enabled the campaign to be uniquely creative and nimble in capitalizing on viral moments and testing ad messages. It also delivered immediate and dramatic results in fundraising, donor acquisition, and other metrics — and distinguished the campaign for its innovative tactics.

All told, Kirsten built a strong organization of nearly 100 talented staff, including 35 staffers on the ground in Iowa and 20 in New Hampshire.


Kirsten and the campaign left it all on the field to make third debate in September, recognizing the importance of being on the stage. In the third quarter, the campaign ramped up spending and invested heavily in television in Iowa and New Hampshire, digital advertising, and added nearly 30 field staff in order to build a strong voter contact program. Kirsten traveled through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan for her Trump Broken Promises tour, as well as to St. Louis, Missouri for a reproductive rights town hall.

We end our campaign with under $800,000 cash on hand. 


While her presidential campaign is ending, Kirsten is still on a mission to elect women up and down the ballot. Kirsten will relaunch her Off the Sidelines PAC by October and will raise and invest at least $1 million to elect women this cycle.

Next month, Kirsten will head to Texas to support an Annie’s List event, focused on turning Texas blue with Democratic women candidates. And she intends to do everything she can to elect more women in her effort to flip the Senate, from states like Iowa to Kentucky. Of course, regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination for president, Kirsten is 100% committed to doing what she can to beat Donald Trump.

Kirsten’s work isn’t done—not by a long shot. She has a clear mission: to defeat President Trump, flip the Senate, and elect women up and down the ballot. It’s the only way we can repair our moral fabric and protect everything we care about.