Twenty candidates will participate in the first Democratic primary debates on Wednesday and Thursday. But outside the top contenders, most candidates are complete mysteries. BTRtoday takes a brief look at the Unknown Dems of the 2020 primary.
Kirsten Gillibrand, 52, Senator from New York
Gillibrand is labeled as party establishment for good reason. The DNC is enamored with her fundraising ability—she raised more than $20 million between 2013 and 2018 according to OpenSecrets. But more than 60 percent of those came from large individual donations, emphasizing her ties to Wall Street.
But Gillibrand says she regrets her past conservative leanings past and is trying to turn a progressive cheek. Earlier this year, she announced she wouldn’t accept PAC money during her 2020 run. She’s endorsed Medicare for All, taxing financial trades and reducing spending in politics. And Gillibrand has spoken out loudly against workplace abuse and sexual assault, leading the charge to oust Al Franken back in 2017 and offering “divisive” comments about former President Bill Clinton. (Ironically enough, Gillibrand would later face a #MeToo incident with one of her own aides.)
But even with her admirable crusade against abuse, she remains an embodiment of “New York liberalism,” which The Week’s Damon Linker describes as “hard left on social issues but relatively hands-off when it comes to financial regulation.”