Kamala Harris opens presidential bid, plans campaign headquarters in Baltimore
By Baltimore Sun staff and wire reports
Jan 21, 2019 | 3:35 PM
Kamala Harris Announces 2020 Presidential Bid. The California senator joins an already crowded field seeking the Democratic nomination.
Kamala Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President Donald Trump’s nominees, entered the Democratic presidential race on Monday.
Vowing to “bring our voices together,” Harris would be the first woman to hold the presidency if she succeeds.
Harris selected Baltimore for her campaign headquarters, with her staff citing the city’s diversity and proximity to Washington as factors in the decision. A campaign spokeswoman said Monday that she could not yet say where specifically in Baltimore operations will be located. Harris will also have an office in Oakland, Calif.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California has entered the Democratic presidential race — and her campaign confirms she plans to set up its headquarters in Baltimore. Many locals expressed excitement about Harris bringing her campaign to Charm City. Others braced for jokes about Baltimore's reputation.
“I am running for president of the United States,” she said. “And I’m very excited about it.”
The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign as she announced her bid.
“They’re the values we as Americans cherish, and they’re all on the line now,” Harris says in the video. “The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values.”
Harris launched her presidential bid as the nation observes what would have been the 90th birthday of King, the slain civil rights leader. The timing was a clear signal that the California senator — who has joked that she had a “stroller’s-eye view” of the civil rights movement because her parents wheeled her and her sister, Maya, to protests — sees herself as another leader in that fight.
She is planning her first trip Friday to an early primary state as a declared candidate. Harris will attend the Pink Ice Gala in Columbia, S.C., which is hosted by a South Carolina chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, which Harris pledged as an undergraduate student at Howard University.
Harris joins what is expected to be a wide-open race for the Democratic presidential nomination. There’s no apparent front-runner at this early stage and Harris will face off against several Senate colleagues.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have started exploratory committees. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota are also looking at the race.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who unsuccessfully sought the 2016 Democratic nomination, is considering a campaign. Several other Democrats have declared their intentions, including former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and former Obama administration housing chief Julian Castro.