Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) became the first major Democratic name to jump into the 2020 presidential race today, announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to run for the White House.

The senator made the announcement in a video sent to supporters and posted on YouTube.

“America’s middle class is under attack,” Warren said in the video.

“How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie. And they enlisted politicians to cut them a bigger slice.”

Warren’s announcement comes about 13 months before the Iowa caucuses.

Aside from Warren, the biggest name to have announced an exploratory committee is former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Warren has long been seen as a leading contender for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

The liberal stalwart, first elected to the Senate in 2012, is a proven fundraiser and party heavyweight who declined to step into the 2016 presidential primary.

Warren, 69, is a former Harvard professor who first came to national prominence after the 2008 financial crisis.

Warren chaired an oversight panel established by Congress that evaluated government programs intended to bolster the country after the crisis and worked to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Polls suggest former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are the early leaders for the Democratic nomination, which could be a reflection of their high name recognition.

If Sanders enters the primary, he and Warren could compete for progressive voters.

The primary is expected to be crowded.

Other figures looking at the race include Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.).

In October, Warren announced the results of a DNA test that showed “strong evidence” that she has Native American ancestry.

The move was intended to put to rest scrutiny that she had claimed Native American ancestry, something President Trump had used to question her credibility.

Trump frequently refers to Warren as “Pocahontas,” a racially charged remark that has drawn intense criticism.

The release of the test does not appear to have ended Trump’s insults, and it also drew criticism from some Native American groups who see such genetic tests as problematic.

 

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