“What happened?” asked Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton after her failed 2016 Presidential bid and the temporary collapse of the Democratic Party. Within days of the party’s fiasco, news agencies including The Washington Post and The Boston Globe had already published articles on their websites outlining possible 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates to succeed then President-Elect Donald Trump.

The Democrats’ best choice for their 2020 nominee is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) because of her conservative-progressive mixture and her strong personality. Senator Gillibrand was elected in a historically Republican region of New York to the House in 2007 due to her community-based campaigning. Her opinions were popular with many people in her district and would attract a wide range of potential supporters.

Some of Gillibrand’s progressive beliefs include women’s rights and gay rights. For example, she fought for the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy. On the conservative end of the spectrum, however, she encourages increased military spending. Gillibrand’s mix of progressive and conservative positions is ideal for the 2020 election in particular, because the incumbent president’s political ideals are so decidedly conservative. A candidate similar to Clinton with acutely liberal beliefs, such as her belief that the government should not be involved in decision-making late term abortions, would not fare well with supporters of the current president’s policies.

Unlike Clinton, Gillibrand would be able to appeal to many swing state voters. In states such as Florida, where Trump won in 2016, Gillibrand can hope to win by pushing for issues the people care about, such as medical marijuana, a topic that Gillibrand is actively supporting in the Senate.

In Ohio, another swing state that Trump won, people cared more deeply about the economy than any other issue. Gillibrand could sway many Ohio voters with her belief in lowering taxes on small businesses to help the economy, which would appeal to the 930,000 small business owners of Ohio.  

Gillibrand is dedicated to running a more transparent and honest government. She was the first congresswoman to publish online her daily meetings, earmarks, and personal financial disclosures. She is the mother of two young boys and can understand the challenges of raising children in working-class families. Gillibrand is pushing for family-friendly legislation, including creating a national paid leave policy called FAMILY and free pre-kindergarten for all American children.

As the Democratic party searches for the ideal candidate for the 2020 election, they need to keep Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in mind. Her policies make her a prime choice as they seek to appeal to both sides of the aisle. Her ideas resonate deeply with voters in key swing states, and her success as a Democrat in a historically Republican district during her time in the House proves that she can thrive no matter the circumstances or competition.