Campaign’s HQ may be Frear site
Gillibrand may reveal plans in February
If U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announces a 2020 run for president, she will likely be operating her campaign downtown from the Frear Building at 2 Third Street.
Campaign representatives signed a lease for the Suite 200onthe second f loor overlooking Third Street, which most recently housed Northwest Mutual’s offices, said Democratic sources who were informed about the transaction. The campaign is taking 4,000- to 5,000-square feet of space.
While Gillibrand, an Albany native who now lives in Brunswick, has yet to announce her candidacy, she has been moving aggressively toward an expected presidential bid. In addition to homing in on an apparent campaign headquarters, she is also filling out key staff positions, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The New York Democrat is considering a February announcement, according to one person familiar with the discussions, who cautioned that the partial government shutdown could have an impact on the timing.
Gillibrand is recruiting Meredith Kelly, the former spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to head her communications efforts, according to the source. Alexandria Phillips, Gillibrand’s congressional press secretary and a former Hillary Clinton aide, and Jess Fassler, who served as Gillibrand’s Senate chief of staff, will also join the campaign, the source said.
Dan Mcnally, a veteran Democratic operative who managed Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s campaign in 2016, will also come on board.
If Gillibrand enters the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, she will join a field that could draw dozens of candidates, including many of her Senate colleagues. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has already formed an exploratory committee and is setting up trips across early primary states. California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are all weighing their own bids and are expected to announce decisions in the upcoming weeks.
Excitement is building locally in anticipation of Gillibrand’s announcement.
“There’s been a lot of presidential candidates who stumped in Troy. The fact that she lives here in Rensselaer County and she (may be) running for a national office is huge. It’s a big deal,” said Kathy Sheehan, historian for Rensselaer County and the city of Troy.
“It’s an incredible thing that puts Troy and Rensselaer County on the map,” Sheehan said.
While contenders have campaigned in the Collar City, Sheehan said this would be the first time a presidential candidate’s headquarters was located in Rensselaer County.
Past presidential candidates who have campaigned in Troy include President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President John F. Kennedy, President Richard M. Nixon, U.S. Sen. Robert J. Kennedy and Sen. Clinton, Sheehan said. One county away is Kinderhook, the home of the eighth American president, Martin Van Buren.
The Frear Department Store was a cornerstone of economic life in Troy for generations. The store shut down in the mid1960s. Since then its become a site for offices and retail space. It is owned by developer David Bryce, an architect.
this is the side of the frear Building in troy that faces third Street, the possible epicenter for u.s. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential campaign, some democrats are saying. many presidential contenders have campaigned in the city over the years, but despite its historic lineage, it hasn’t ever hosted a headquarters here.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand prepares to vote in Brunswick last fall. the democrat may be among dozens of democrats running for president.