California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ recent announcement that she is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer has a number of emerging demographics excited.
Harris, 50, is not only California’s first female attorney general, but she’s also the first African American, and because of her South Asian mother, the first Asian-American to hold the esteemed office as well.
“Kamala’s reach goes deep into so many communities, including the Asian-American community,” says Ash Kalra, a San Jose Council member. “Certainly, her election would be a significant sign that more and more Asian-Americans, and more specifically Indian-Americans, are becoming mainstream political leaders that represent the best of American politics.”
The move by Harris came a day after Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsome announced that he would not make a run for the seat. Many feared that both Harris and Newsome pursuing the seat would result in an ugly battle as the two share many of the same supporters.
A two-term attorney general, Harris was previously San Francisco’s district attorney. Thus far, she is the only candidate to make her bid for the seat official. Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer are both said to be considering tossing their hats into the ring. Additionally, a pair of former state GOP chairmen and Assemblyman Rocky Chavez are also considering running.
Harris and the rest of her Democratic counterparts are particularly interested in the Senate seat being vacated by Boxer as a Democrat has not landed an open U.S. senate seat since 1992.