×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kamala Harris Launches 2020 Presidential Bid

WASHINGTON — Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) launched her presidential campaign on Monday with an online video and an appearance on “Good Morning America” in which she said that “this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are.”

Harris, 54, will hold an announcement rally in Oakland on Jan. 27, but her first campaign trip will be on Friday, when she will appear at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Pink Ice Gala in Columbia, S.C. She will visit Iowa on Jan. 28, when CNN will host a town hall there.

In recent weeks she has been building up to an announcement with a new book, including appearances on shows such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” She also has been contacting donors to line up potential support.

Her announcement video features snappy, upbeat music, flashing words like “truth,” “justice” and “decency,” and warning that cherished American values are “all on the line now.”

“The future of our country depends on you and millions or others, lifting our voices to fight for our American values,” she says.

Before her first term as a U.S. senator, Harris previously served as California’s attorney general and, prior to that, as district attorney of San Francisco. During Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, she served as a surrogate speaker, and was even then considered a rising figure within the party.

On “Good Morning America,” she focused on her years spent as a prosecutor.

“My entire career has been focused on keeping people safe,” Harris said. “It is one of the things that motivates me more than anything else. And when I look at this moment in time, I know that the American people deserve to have someone who is going to fight for them, who is going to see them, who is going to care about them, who will be concerned about their experience, and put them in front of self-interest.”

Harris is the first African American senator from California and joins a field vying to become the first woman elected to the White House. She is the third female Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race following Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also is considering a presidential bid, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said that she plans to run.

But the field is likely to expand in coming weeks. Julian Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, also launched a bid. John Delaney, a former congressman from Maryland, announced in 2017 that he was running.

Although Harris has been focused on building her name recognition, she already has a substantial network of donors from the entertainment industry, for her past Senate and attorney general races as well as her leadership PAC, Fearless for the People. In the most recent cycle, the PAC drew contributions from Ziffren Brittenham attorney Matthew Johnson, CAA’s Richard Lovett, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Universal’s Donna Langley and Sean Hayes, among others. It’s expected that many donors will wait for a bit until endorsing candidates, or make contributions to multiple campaigns, to see how the race shakes out. Harris said that she will not accept money from corporate PACs.

Harris also may be one of a number of Californians to join the race. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) also are considering presidential bids.

Popular on Variety

More Politics

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court Justice

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg Treated for Pancreatic Cancer

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has been cleared “definitively” of pancreatic cancer after spending three weeks undergoing treatment in New York City for the illness. The Supreme Court issued a statement on Friday saying that the Justice responded well to radiation treatment. In early July, Ginsberg underwent a regular blood test that came back abnormal, and [...]

  • Taylor SwiftTeen Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los

    Taylor Swift Says She's 'Remorseful' For Not Getting Involved in 2016 Election

    Taylor Swift says she feels “really remorseful for not saying anything” during Trump’s run for presidency in 2016, per an interview with the Guardian published today. The singer points to her negative public image during the time of the election as one reason she stayed uninvolved, but explained that she would’ve endorsed Hillary Clinton for [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Pod Save America Hosts on Trump

    'Pod Save America' Hosts on Trump, the Democratic Primary and What's Wrong With Cable News

    Like many Democrats, Tanya Somanader was blindsided by the 2016 presidential election. A veteran of the Obama White House and a former speechwriter and digital specialist for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Somanader was gearing up for a Hillary Clinton administration. Instead, she had to grapple with the reality of a Donald Trump presidency. “A lot [...]

  • Sean Spicer Dancing With the Stars

    Sean Spicer Hopes 'Dancing With the Stars' Gig Will 'Move the Country Forward'

    In the face of a swift backlash, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he hoped his role as a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” can help “move the country forward in a positive way.” Spicer told CNN on Thursday that his “DWTS” posting was about entertainment, not politics. ABC revealed Spicer [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content