Gillibrand re-elected to Senate in New York
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, considered a potential Democratic candidate for the White House in 2020, defeated Republican challenger Chele Farley Tuesday to win re-election to a second full term in New York.
New York’s junior senator was the overwhelming favorite over Farley in polls heading into the election. When asked about her presidential aspirations during a recent televised debate, Gillibrand said she will serve out her six-year Senate term.
Gillibrand, 51, was a congresswoman in eastern New York when she was appointed in 2009 to the Senate seat vacated when Hillary Clinton was named secretary of state. She easily won election in 2010 to serve the remainder of Clinton’s term, and took 72 percent of the vote in 2012 to win a full term.
Farley, also 51, works in the financial services industry and has never held elected office. She became finance chair of the state Republican Party last year.
Gillibrand co-sponsored Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” bill and announced in February that she wouldn’t accept campaign contributions from corporate political action committees.
She rose to prominence in the #MeToo movement last year when she was the first Democratic senator to publicly call for U.S. Sen. Al Franken, a friend and fellow Democrat, to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations. She has also focused attention on sexual assault and harassment in the military, the workplace and on college campuses.
During the televised debate with Farley, Gillibrand said some people in a Central American migrant caravan heading toward the U.S. border were asylum seekers and shouldn’t be turned away.
“We are a country founded by immigrants. So we need to fix our broken immigration system,” she said.
Farley called it “an invasion.”