If all goes well in her reelection, New York's junior senator won't be eyeing a run in 2020. During a Thursday debate, Kirsten Gillibrand effectively ruled out a presidential election bid if she won the upcoming midterm race in November. "I will serve my six-year term," the Democrat said.
The New York senator spoke during a debate with her opponent, who is also financial chair for the state's Republican Party, Chele Farley. Her GOP challenger shot back at her comment, saying, "Honestly, I don't believe that, considering this is the third day that she has been in New York during the month of October when she has been in five other states including New Hampshire this month."
In spite of reports speculating about whether Gillibrand will run for president in 2020, the Democrat has been vocal about shutting down those rumors. In May 2017, Gillibrand spoke in Fort Drum, New York, according to NYStateofPolitics.com. During her visit, she said, "I'm focused entirely on running for Senate, so yes, I'm ruling it out."
She said that she was "dedicated to serving our state as our senator and I’m running for reelection so I can continue to be their senator." At the time, Gillibrand said that she loved her work and that "I feel like I can make a huge difference for New Yorkers, fighting for them."
The Thursday debate shed light on both Farley and Gillibrand's opinions of the country's immigration system, health care, and more. In one instance, the GOP contender described groups of Central American migrants seeking refuge in the United States as an "invasion."
Farley said, "The real issue here is we have to get comprehensive immigration reform. There was an offer on the table, and Sen. Gillibrand wouldn't vote for it."
The New York Democrat pushed back. "You have people in this caravan to seek asylum in this country," Gillibrand said. "Immigration has always been a strength in this country. We are a country founded by immigrants. So we need to fix our broken immigration system."
When it came to health care, Farley said that she did not support Medicaid for all, like Gillibrand, as it would apparently be financially daunting for American taxpayers. "What she is proposing means that no one will be allowed to have employer health care. If you like your health care, will you be able to keep it? The answer is no," Farley said
The Democrat said that health care "should be a right, not a privilege." It was unfortunate, Gillibrand said, that Farley and Donald Trump would "undermine health care as a right." If Americans had the option to seek medical help from not-for-profit public entities, the senator said that people with preexisting conditions could get better services as well as preventative care for others.
She may not run in 2020, but Gillibrand has been actively discussing what is at stake this midterm elections on her Twitter account.
In one of her recent tweets, the New York Democrat said, "This election offers a chance to transform our government under a wave of diverse women candidates. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Let’s seize it."