DES MOINES, Iowa -- Senator (D-NY) Kirsten Gillibrand first announced her run for president in 2020 to Stephen Colbert. Now just days later, she was at the Peace Tree Brewing Company in Des Moines.
Gillibrand followed in Sen. Elizabeth Warren's footsteps, visiting the state just days after launching her presidential exploratory committee to speak to Democratic Iowans.
"You are hearty, and you are hard working, and you don't give up. It's a lot like up-state New York Democrats. We don't mind the cold either,” Gillibrand said to a room full of Iowa voters.
There wasn't much room inside the brewery, but voters packed it full to make sure they heard what Gillibrand is all about.
"I wanted to come out here tonight because I think as an Iowa caucus goer it's my responsibility to listen to what every candidate has to say and draw my own conclusions," Lauren Johnson said after attending the event.
"I think there are going to be several qualified candidates. The question that ranks number one in my mind is who's most likely to win in November," Steve Weiss said.
She focused mainly on family and children issues.
"I will fight for your child as hard as I would fight for my own,” Gillibrand said. “That is why I am running. That is why I believe this campaign has to be very different. It has to be about who we are as Americans and what we are willing to fight for.” And that's why she spent time talking with 14-year-old Johanna Leonard after her speech.
"I think that's really really cool because not everybody would take enough time to have that long of a conversation with how many people are here,” Leonard said.
Gillibrand also spoke on gun control and immigration, changing her stance from years ago when she was in the House of Representatives.
"Why should we be afraid in the United States of America of immigrants? We are a country founded by immigrants,” Gillibrand said.
"I know there is going to be a lot of Democrats coming through the state, so I have no idea where things are going to be a year from now at the Iowa caucuses, but I like what she had to say tonight,” Cameron Van Kooten Laughead said.