Politics

Marianne Williamson Secures Presidential Debate Spot Before Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

(Jason LaVeris / Contributor RIGHT: Scott Olson / Staff)

Mike Brest Reporter

Spiritual leader and presidential candidate Marianne Williamson solidified her spot Thursday in the first presidential debate scheduled for next month.

Her achievement comes as a number of other Democratic candidates — most notably, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — have yet to do so.

There are two qualifying achievements a candidate must make to enter the June 26-27 debate. The first achievement, which Williamson reached on Thursday, according to Politico, is earning at least 1% of the vote in three national or designated early primary state polls.

The second way to qualify is by receiving donations from 65,000 unique donors with a minimum of 200 donors in at least 20 states. Williamson reached this benchmark weeks ago. (RELATED: Here Are The 2020 Dems That Have Qualified For The First Presidential Debate)

2020 Democratic presidential candidates are seen in a combination of 21 file photos. REUTERS/Files

With more candidates in the race than spots available for the first debate, some will be left off the stage. In the event that more than 20 candidates reach one of those goals, those who have both polled with at least 1% support and received the most donations and will be prioritized.

Following the candidates who have achieved those two feats, the remaining spots will be filled by the candidates who reached the polling qualification, and that would priorities the individuals with the highest polling average.

Williamson was the twelfth candidate to reach both markers. The others are Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Cory Booker, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, according to The Washington Post.

Unless nine or more candidates achieve both markers, Williamson will have guaranteed herself a spot in the first debate.

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Marianne Williamson talks with child care advocates at the Nevada State Legislature in Carson City, Nevada, U.S., March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Bob Strong

At this moment, seven candidates have reached at least one of the two thresholds. Those candidates are Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Gillibrand (who recently played beer pong to obtain more donations), Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and California Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Therefore, 19 of the 20 slots available for the first debate are already locked in. Four declared candidates have yet to reach either marker.

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