California Sen. Kamala Harris announced Monday that she is running for president, joining a fast-growing crowd of Democrats jumping into the race the 2020 race.
“I’m running for president of the United States, and I’m very excited about it,” Harris said.
Harris, 54, made the announcement on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The former California attorney general was elected to the Senate in 2016. Since then, she has worked to establish a national profile through her questioning of President Trump’s judicial nominees on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Still, her record as a prosecutor and state attorney general have attracted new scrutiny from liberals as she has inched closer to a presidential run.
University of San Francisco associate law professor Lara Bazelon recently argued in an op-ed piece that the perception that Harris acted as a “progressive prosecutor” during her tenure as the district attorney of San Francisco and then California’s attorney general contradict her actions.
“Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent,” Lara Bazelon wrote in the New York Times.
Republicans are taking her seriously as a top-tier candidate.
“At 54, Harris is two decades younger than some of her septuagenarian competitors – an age that enables her to appeal to the Instagram crowd without being painted as inexperienced,” said Colin Reed, a Republican strategist who worked for former Republican Sen. Scott Brown. “A child of immigrants, she brings diversity to a party obsessed with racial and gender politics.
Harris’ announcement comes as a slew of Democrats have begun making plans to run for the White House in 2020.
In recent weeks, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro have moved forward with plans to seek the party’s nomination.
Other prominent figures, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, are also mulling possible campaigns.