California Senator Kamala Harris Announces 2020 Run for President

January 21, 2019 Updated: January 25, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) announced Jan. 21 that she is running for president in 2020, the latest Democrat in a growing crowd of hopefuls seeking to challenge incumbent President Donald Trump.

Harris, who’s been considering running for months, told ABC’s Good Morning America that “I’m running for president of the United States, and I’m very excited about it.”

At the same time as her appearance on the show, the first-term senator released a campaign video on Twitter outlining her platform’s goals. In the nearly one-minute video, she said, “Truth. Justice. Decency. Equality. Freedom. Democracy. These aren’t just words. They’re the values we as Americans cherish. And they’re all on the line now.”

Her presidential bid is the latest in a wide field of possible Democratic candidates, some of whom have already announced bids, and others who are still mulling the possibility. As of writing, Harris is the first African-American woman to announce a 2020 presidency and the third female candidate so far. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have announced their own presidential exploratory committees.

In most national opinion polls for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, Harris has lagged, drawing just single-digit support.

Harris was elected to the Senate in 2016 after six years as California’s attorney general. She is widely seen as a progressive member of the Senate and gained some attention among Democrats after she grilled Trump’s judicial nominees.

Last year, Harris had rallied for Democrats on a trip to Iowa during the midterm elections. That trip was widely seen as her testing the waters for a potential run.

Michael Ahrens, a spokesperson from the Republican National Committee, says Harris is “out-of-touch” and doesn’t have the qualifications for president.

“Kamala Harris is arguably the least vetted 2020 Democrat, but it’s already clear how unqualified & out-of-touch she is,” he said on Twitter. “Her hometown paper says she was a bad manager as attorney general, & all she has to show for her brief time in the Senate is a radically liberal voting record.”

Harris’s aides told Reuters that her campaign will focus on enacting a middle-class tax credit, pursuing immigration and criminal justice changes and a Medicare-for-all health care system.

Speaking to ABC, Harris outlined her selling points as president.

“On all of those points, I feel very confident about my ability to lead,” she said. “I feel very confident about my ability to listen and to work on behalf of the American public. The American public wants a fighter, and they want someone that is going to fight like heck for them and not fight based on self-interests. I’m prepared to do that.”

Harris, who has an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, is planning a formal campaign launch in Oakland, California, on Jan. 27. Meanwhile, other high-profile Democrats such as Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro have both announced their intentions to run for president.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.), former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke are also considering their own potential campaigns.

Follow Bowen on Twitter: @BowenXiao_