Kamala Harris joins 2020 presidential race

Sen. Kamala Harris // YouTube//MGN

After weeks of speculation, California Sen. Kamala Harris chose Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to announce that she’s entering the 2020 presidential race.

“I love my country, and this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to fight for the best of who we are,” said Harris during her announcement on Good Morning America. Her campaign is highlighting her work as an advocate for criminal justice reform, as well as affordable housing, healthcare, and sexual assault, among other issues.

The announcement comes weeks after she released her book, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, earlier this month. Book releases have become commonplace for presidential candidates looking to raise their profiles and present themselves to voters in a positive light.

Harris, whose parents immigrated from Jamaica and India, became the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, according to her campaign website. She’s also the first African American and the first woman to serve as attorney general of California.

Harris unveiled her presidential bid the same week in January as Chisholm announced her historic candidacy. And the logo for Harris’ campaign is reportedly modeled on the late Shirley Chisholm’s, the first African American woman elected to Congress and the first African American woman and first woman to seek the nomination for U.S. president from one of the two major parties.  

Harris’ campaign logo, with its yellow and red colors, and slogan, “For the People,” are also a nod to Chisholm. Her campaign has confirmed that its primary headquarters will be based in Baltimore, Md., and Oakland, Calif.

Harris joins an increasingly crowded list of high-profile Democratic presidential hopefuls. Last week, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand officially launched her presidential campaign, and prior to her, both Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announced their presidential bids. Closer to home, there’s also been speculation as of late that Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is exploring a presidential run.

The MSR will continue to follow the 2020 presidential race as it develops.

Updated 1/22/2019