It’s not clear whether other Democratic candidates have spoken with Schwartz.
Warren, who recently announced she was opening an organization to look at a run for president, has not spoken with him, according to her spokeswoman, Kristen Orthman. Warren publicly swore off getting the support of billionaires and went as far as to closing down her joint fundraising committee.
A representative for former Obama HUD secretary Julian Castro, who announced his candidacy over the weekend, declined to comment for this story.
Some political strategists believe Gillibrand and many other 2020 contenders could be in a bind about their past affiliation with big business, especially if they need put together a formidable campaign.
“It’s tough – it’s a daunting process. You’ve got to be able to build organizations in early states. You need the resources to compete on Super Tuesday. You need to compete in the states that come after that,” said a senior Democratic operative on the condition of anonymity who worked on multiple presidential campaigns, including Bill Clinton’s. “Many of these candidates have raised millions before. But they haven’t raised hundreds of millions,” this person added.
Others, such as Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist out of N.Y., says Gillibrand may be able to overcome her ties to Wall Street with her record of defending women and becoming a progressive since being a conservative Democrat in the House.
“She may be able to function as a grassroots protector of women and one of the founders of #MeToo movement,” Sheinkopf said. “For voters it may be hard to believe that she’s been getting money from Wall Street and corporate executives while being a leader on such progressive issues.”
Gillibrand was the first Democratic senator to publicly call for former Sen. Al Franken’s resignation after he was accused of sexual harassment.
“While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve,” she said at the time through a Facebook post.
Gillibrand’s comments led to several other members of the Senate demanding Franken to step down, including at least one other prospective 2020 presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California.