Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is looking at basing a potential 2020 presidential campaign in Troy, New York, a small upstate city on the banks of the Hudson River, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions.
The search for a headquarters is the strongest signal yet that the New York senator will soon enter a presidential race that could ultimately draw dozens of candidates. The selection of Troy, 150 miles north of Manhattan, could allow Gillibrand to highlight her roots in upstate New York, where she was born and later represented in Congress before being appointed to the Senate.
The sources spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. They cautioned that a final decision hadn’t yet been made.
Gillibrand’s representatives didn’t comment Thursday on her choice of headquarters.
If Gillibrand enters the race, she will join what is expected to be a historically large field, and one that could include many of her Senate colleagues. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has already formed an exploratory committee and is moving quickly with trips across the landscape of early primary states. Other members of the Senate’s Democratic caucus, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, are all weighing their own presidential bids and are expected to announce decisions in the upcoming weeks.
Several Democrats, including billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, have declined to run in 2020.
Gillibrand easily won re-election to her Senate seat in 2018 with more than $10.6 million in campaign money left over that she could funnel toward a presidential bid. In recent weeks, she has worked to expand her fundraising network and to improve her standing among critical voting blocs, including African-American voters.