U.S. Senator Kamala Harris speaks at her official launch rally for her campaign for President of the United States in 2020 on January 27, 2019 at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, California. (Christopher Victorio for SF Weekly)

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris speaks at her official launch rally for her campaign for President of the United States in 2020 on January 27, 2019 at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, California. (Christopher Victorio for SF Weekly)

Kamala Harris drops out of presidential race

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris suspended her presidential run Tuesday, according to two sources close to the campaign, marking a lackluster end to an initially soaring presidential bid premised on her personal biography and prosecutorial acumen. Ultimately, her run foundered with a muddled purpose, campaign in-fighting and an inability to sustain support from vital Democratic voting blocs, particularly African Americans.

In an email to supporters, Harris blamed her campaign’s end on a lack of money.

“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete,” she wrote. “In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do. So, to you my supporters, it is with deep regret _ but also with deep gratitude _ that I am suspending my campaign today.”

Harris, a freshman senator from California, was seen as a rising star, representing the more youthful and diverse voters that have become the base of the Democratic Party. Her high-profile interrogations of Trump administration officials in Senate hearings rocketed her to national acclaim, and her dazzling campaign launch established her in the top-tier of a crowded Democratic field.

But Harris, 55, struggled to articulate a distinct reason for her candidacy, and the campaign attempted to reroute midway through the year for a last-ditch effort to win over Iowa, a state she had initially placed little emphasis on in her primary strategy.

Born in Oakland and raised mainly in Berkeley, Harris is the daughter of immigrants: Shyamala Gopalan, who was a breast cancer researcher from India, and Donald Harris, a Jamaican economist who taught at Stanford University.

Her biracial background was initially seen as a major asset at a time when African Americans, Latinos and Asians are major blocs in the Democratic coalition. But Harris’ uneven performance in the campaign, especially her fumbling on health care, drove her poll ratings downward and she never recovered.

Harris has never lost an election. A career prosecutor, she was elected San Francisco district attorney in 2003, then state attorney general in 2010. She won her U.S. Senate seat six years later and quickly made a name for herself as a sharp interrogator of Trump administration appointees, including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Melanie Mason and Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times

Bay Area NewsCaliforniaPoliticssan francisco newsU.S.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Protesters rally at the site of a proposed affordable housing project at 2550 Irving St. in the Sunset District on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Sunset District affordable housing discussion flooded with ‘scare tactics and hysteria’

Project would provide 100 units, some of which would be designated for formerly homeless families

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Most Read