U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris has selected Baltimore for her campaign headquarters if, as expected, she runs for president in 2020, according to sources familiar with the California Democrat’s plans.
Harris picked Baltimore because of its diversity, its proximity to Washington and because it is in the Eastern time zone, said the sources, who requested anonymity because Harris has not yet announced her plans.
An announcement on her candidacy is expected soon. Harris’ Senate office declined to comment on her plans, including the selection of Baltimore.
One of the sources, who is close to the potential campaign, said the location of nearby BWI Marshall Airport was also a plus because it offers cross-country flights to Harris’ home state.
Harris has ties to Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who held a fundraiser in Los Angeles featuring the senator during Mosby’s re-election campaign. Mosby also has said she consulted with Harris after being elected, seeking to draw on her experience as a prosecutor in San Francisco and as California's attorney general.
“It’s the right choice," said Krish Vignarajah, a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, of the Baltimore decision. “The race ought to focus on the future of cities like Baltimore. And Senator Harris is incredibly inspiring — hard not to love a strong, vertically challenged woman of color!”
Vignarajah is a board member of Emerge Maryland, a group seeking to increase the number of women from diverse backgrounds in public office.
Harris, 54, grew up in Oakland and is of Jamaican and Indian descent. She was elected in 2016 to the Senate after serving as California’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017, and as San Francisco district attorney before that.
Harris has criticized Republican President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, proposed criminal justice reforms and ardently opposed Brett Kavanaugh’s U.S. Supreme Court appointment, calling the nominee “unfit” to serve.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who was considered a potential Democratic candidate for president following a failed 2016 bid, says he will not run in 2020 and is instead urging Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke to get into the race.
Harris would join what is expected to be a wide Democratic field that could include former Vice President Joe Biden, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas and U.S. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
O’Rourke, who has not yet disclosed his intentions, has early support from 2016 presidential candidate Martin O'Malley. The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor tweeted earlier this month that he won’t be running in 2020, “but I hope Beto O’Rourke does. It’s time for a new generation of leadership.”
U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have announced exploratory committees, and former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney have announced their candidacies.
I will not be running for President in 2020, but I hope Beto O’Rourke does. It’s time for a new generation of leadership. https://t.co/6vDbAUvzDt