NEWS
21/01/2019 6:12 PM IST

Kamala Harris Is Running For President In 2020

The California senator announced her bid on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the campaign theme "For the People."

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) announced Monday that she will be running for president in 2020.

The theme of Harris’ campaign will be “For the People,” and she is expected to formally announce her candidacy in a speech on Jan. 27 in Oakland, California.

The senator previewed her announcement in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday, and her campaign released a short introductory video.

Harris recently published a memoirThe Truths We Hold: An AmericanJourney, that dove into many of the messages she is expected to focus on during her campaign. In the book, she describes her upbringing in Oakland as a daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, and her personal history going from prosecutor to district attorney to senator.

According to a Harris aide, her priorities in the campaign will be addressing the cost of living, pushing for a more just society, expanding access to better quality of life and restoring dignity and responsibility to public office. Issues like immigration, education and criminal justice reform are expected to feature prominently in her agenda.

Elected to the Senate in 2016, Harris made history as the first Indian-American to serve in the body, as well as just the second black woman. As attorney general of California for six years, she was the first woman, African-American and Indian-American in that role.

Harris announced her presidential bid on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and her campaign’s logo and color scheme draw inspiration from the 1972 presidential bid of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to run for the presidency from one of the major parties.

Kamala Harris campaign

Harris is expected to make her first campaign stop in one of the early states on Friday, in Columbia, South Carolina. She is slated to speak at the Pink Ice Gala, a major event held by the local chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Harris was a member of the sorority during her time at Howard University.

Harris is the latest high-profile Democrat to declare her intention to run against President Donald Trump in 2020. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), along with former Obama Cabinet member Julián Castro and Reps. John Delaney (Md.) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), are running as well.

The 2020 field is expected to get more crowded in the coming weeks, with Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as well as former Vice President Joe Biden, among the speculated entrants.

Harris recently gained national attention through her tough questioning of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Senate hearings.

When Trump won the presidency against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, crushing many Americans’ hopes for the first female president, some turned to Harris as a potential candidate to break that glass ceiling.

Bill Clark via Getty Images
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on homeland security on Jan. 16, 2018.

Harris’ track record includes support for LGBTQ rights, recent support for “Medicare for all,” and what she dubs her “smart on crime” strategy, which includes reducing sentences for low-level offenders.

Some have criticized her record as California attorney general, notably because her office declined to prosecute now-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s OneWest Bank for foreclosure violations in 2013.

Harris has been a vocalcritic of Trump and his administration, calling for reform of Immigration and Customs Enforcement amid Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants, and for stronger environmental protections amid the Trump administration’s loosening of regulations.