Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand jumps into 2020 presidential race

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has entered the growing field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, telling television host Stephen Colbert that she's launching an exploratory committee

NEW YORK -- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand entered the growing field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders Tuesday, telling television host Stephen Colbert that she's launching an exploratory committee.

Gillibrand, 52, has already made plans to campaign in Iowa over the weekend, more than a year before the leadoff caucus state votes.

"I'm going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own," said Gillibrand, a mother of two sons, ages 10 and 15.

As she works to distinguish herself from likely rivals, Gillibrand will be able to draw from the more than $10.5 million left over from her 2018 re-election campaign that she can use toward a presidential run.

Gillibrand pledged during her Senate campaign that she would serve out her six-year term if re-elected.

She will use Troy, New York, where she lives, as a home base for her presidential efforts.

Near the end of their interview, Colbert presented Gillibrand with a basket of campaign gifts, including an ear of yellow corn to wave in Iowa, a piece of granite for New Hampshire and a one-of-a-kind button that reads "I announced on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert."