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‘Ranch girl’ at Gillibrand event said interrupting wasn’t political



A woman who went viral for looking for ranch dressing during a Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand campaign event has rejected theories that she interrupted the event for political reasons.

Instead, she said, she just really wanted ranch dressing.

A 17-second video of Hanna Kinney at Gillibrand’s campaign stop at the Airliner restaurant in Iowa City on Tuesday has been viewed more than 720,000 times as of Wednesday morning. In it, Kinney approaches through the crowd and Gillibrand looks down, expectant, touches her on the arm and says “sorry.”

Kinney then says apologetically: “Sorry, I’m just trying to get some ranch.”

In the video, shared by CNN’s DJ Judd, the crowd clearly enjoyed the moment, openly laughing at Kinney’s clear enthusiasm for ranch. An off-screen commenter can be heard saying the moment was “very Iowa.”

Read more:WATCH: Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announces she’s running for president in 2020 on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’

And the moment, Iowa, and “ranch girl” herself have been celebrated online since by the likes of comedian Jim Gaggigan and Meghan McCain.

Gillibrand, who has launched an exploratory committee for a presidential bid in 2020, has not publicly commented.

But Kinney told The Washington Post that people have theorized that she chose to interrupt the event to harm Gillibrand and Democrats or as an act of support for the GOP.

“There’s been some people, I think, they’re trying to make it a little more politically charged than what it really is,” she told the Post. She said that some people think she interrupted the event or are supporting her because she “doesn’t support the Democrats.”

Read more:Here’s how presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand went from pushing for more deportations to wanting to abolish ICE

Kinney, 22, said she identifies as “left-leaning” and that she “did not mean to disrespect” Gillibrand.

Kirsten Gillibrand.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

“I’m literally just a girl getting some ranch, and she just happens to be in the way, and the crowd just happened to be there,” she said. “People are grasping at straws.”

She tweeted on Tuesday to say: “The only political comment I will make at this time is that @TheAirlinerBar‘s ranch is amazing.”

Kinney, a University of Iowa student, told the Post that she visits the Airliner every Monday to get pizza with Bible study friends.

She said that the group enjoys the restaurant’s homemade ranch with their pizza, but that it isn’t always on the table. She has become the “designated person” in their group to fetch the dressing, she said.

And it was when she went downstairs to get the ranch on Tuesday that she ran into Gillibrand’s event, which she said she did not know was happening.

Kinney said she only knew something political was happening and that the front area of the restaurant’s ground floor was packed.

“Being someone who is only 5-2, I can’t really see over most people, so I was like, I’ll just have to push through,” she said said.

“I was just a girl on a mission to get some ranch for me and my friends.”

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