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Former Penn Law professor and United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) officially launched her presidential campaign.

Credit: Lulu Wang

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) officially launched her presidential campaign at a Saturday rally in Lawrence, Mass.

At the rally, the former Penn Law professor told the assembled crowd “our fight is for big, structural change” when announcing her decision.  

“We can't afford to just tinker around the edges — a tax credit here, a regulation there,” Warren said, outlining her ideology in opposition to less progressive Democrats.

Warren’s official entry into the Democratic primary makes her the latest notable figure to announce a 2020 bid. Over the past month, U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), as well as U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), have all launched their presidential campaigns.

Before her current position in the Senate, Warren was a longtime law professor, teaching at Penn Law between 1987 and 1995. According to recent interviews with The Daily Pennsylvanian, both students and faculty who knew Warren held her in high esteem.  

Warren had previously announced the formation of an exploratory committee in December 2018 in an email sent to supporters. In the email, Warren played on similar themes to her official announcement. In a video attached in the email, Warren said, “Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie. And they enlisted politicians to cut them a bigger slice.”

In recent months, news coverage of the Massachusetts senator has zeroed in on her allegedly improper claims of Native America heritage. Warren apologized for those claims this week, saying she is “sorry” for any “harm that resulted.”

The Massachusetts senator had previously come under fire for a controversial DNA test that showed she had a Native American ancestor six to 10 generations back in her family lineage. Critics, such as President Donald Trump, have labeled her "Pocahontas" in retaliation.

One other Penn-affiliated individual has also taken possible steps towards a presidential bid. Penn Presidential Professor of Practice and former Vice President Joe Biden has not yet officially announced a 2020 presidential campaign as the Democratic primary field grows increasingly crowded. Biden is scheduled to speak at Penn on Feb. 19 at Irvine Auditorium.