Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar declares bid for 2020 presidential nomination

Key Points
  • Klobuchar, 58, was elected to the Senate in 2006, becoming the first female ever to do so in Minnesota.
  • While she has never sought the presidency before, Klobuchar came into view as a formidable potential 2020 candidate soon after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was defeated by President Donald Trump.
Amy Klobuchar, United States Senator
Michael Brochstein | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar on Sunday officially joined the growing number of Democratic contenders for her party's presidential nomination in 2020.

Elected to the Senate in 2006, Klobuchar was the first female ever to do so in her state. While she has never run for president before, Klobuchar's name was thrown into the mix of serious 2020 contenders soon after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost to then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Klobuchar, 58, practiced corporate law and served as a county attorney before her 2006 election to the Senate, where she was recently re-elected to her third term.

"For every American, I'm running for you," she told a crowd gathered on a snowy afternoon at a park along the Mississippi River, with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.

"And I promise you this: As your president, I will look you in the eye. I will tell you what I think. I will focus on getting things done. That's what I've done my whole life. And no matter what, I'll lead from the heart," the three-term senator said.

In a statement shortly after Klobuchar announced her candidacy, Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens said "it's tough to find any base of support" for her bid. He also pointed to recent media reports in which former staff members alleged the senator was overly-demanding, or outright mistreated them.

She's considered more moderate than many other Democrats who have already thrown their hats in the ring, including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

But Klobuchar made her bones as a legislator after the birth of her daughter, according to a 2010 profile from Elle Magazine, when the new mother was forced to leave the hospital after just 24 hours. She lobbied Minnesota's state legislature to pass a law guaranteeing at least a 48-hour hospital stay — an idea that was later signed into federal law by then-President Bill Clinton.

Klobuchar is consistently ranked among the most popular figures in the Senate, according to polling from Morning Consult. And she can boast of having supported more successful legislation than anyone else in the 114th Congress, according to an analysis from GovTrack.

Her star only rose in late 2018, during the politically toxic confirmation process for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The judge, teeming with anger as he pushed back on allegations of sexual misconduct against him on the national stage, verbally clashed with many Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. But Klobuchar's line of questioning drew praise, and even an apology, from the apoplectic Kavanaugh.

--The Associated Press contributed to this article.