Sen. Kamala Harris of California joined a fast-growing field of Democratic presidential candidates this week, announcing her intent to run on the ABC News’ Good Morning America.
Harris, 54, grew up in Oakland, Calif., the daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother. She served as district attorney in San Francisco before being elected California’s attorney general in 2010. In 2016, she won a U.S. Senate bid and replaced outgoing Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Harris has grilled a number of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. More recently, she questioned District Court nominee Brian Buescher’s membership in the Catholic service organization Knights of Columbus. Her inquiry suggested his affiliation with the group showed he could not be impartial on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. Afterward, the Senate passed a unanimous resolution affirming religious freedom for judicial nominees and calling such questioning unconstitutional.
Harris plans a formal campaign launch in Oakland on Sunday. Before then, she will campaign in South Carolina, a state where African-American voters make up a large share of the Democratic electorate.
On Wednesday, another Democrat threw his hat into the ring: Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind. The city’s voters elected Buttigieg—who is openly gay and married to a man, a Rhodes Scholar, and a Navy veteran—when he was just 29.
“I belong to a generation that is stepping forward right now,” Buttigieg said in a video released Wednesday. He garnered some national attention following an unsuccessful bid in 2017 for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. Buttigieg withdrew from that race when it became clear he didn’t have the support to win.
Harris and Buttigeig join a crowd of Democrats who have either declared their candidacy or formed exploratory committees. “Everybody who has ever thought about running for president is threatening to do it this time,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
The list is extensive: In addition to Harris and Buttigieg, U.S. Reps. John Delaney of Maryland and Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, and former West Virginia state Sen. Richard Ojeda are in. Maybes include former Vice President Joe Biden; U.S. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Bernie Sanders of Vermont; U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California; former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas; and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. —Kiley Crossland