Ford said he was strongly considering running because "our best as a nation has always come when we test our ideas and ourselves, and when we trust competition to refine the steel of our convictions and the truth of our arguments."
Ford's announcement comes one day after White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the Obama administration would back Gillibrand's bid for to retain her Senate seat in New York.
In the Post, Ford acknowledged those who would prefer if he didn't run, but said "New Yorkers want an honest and serious debate about how to grow our economy."
Ford touted his record on abortion, gun control, labor, and same-sex marriage. He also defended his authenticity as a New Yorker. "I moved to New York more than three years ago, have been a New York resident for more than a year and am a registered voter in New York City. My wife and I both work in Manhattan, proudly call lower Manhattan home and plan to start and raise a family in New York."
Ford represented Tennessee in the House for five terms, and is the current president of the Democratic Leadership Council.
On his website, Ford's biography says he lives in "New York and Memphis."