The following letter published in the San Francisco Chronicle arrived from a reader who admires California Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democrat whose expected to decide this week whether she’ll run for president next year:
“I am writing to ask Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., not to run for president in 2020. I think she is an admirable woman, and I am delighted to have someone with her intelligence and political viewpoint as our California senator. However, the idea that she would abandon us after less than half her first term is alarming. We need her as our senator, and we deserve to have her in that office for at least a full term.
Besides, I shudder to think what the Trump base, the Russians, and the fringe right-wing trolls would do in attacking her as a liberal woman of color. I don’t know if the country could take this on top of the years of Trump.” — Ken Greenberg, Oakland, Calif.
It’s not surprising to those who know or have followed Harris that her supporters would want to keep her in California. It’s also not surprising that they’d want to shield her from President Donald Trump.
But Harris has shown no such fear of Trump or the rhetoric that comes with opposing the 45th president. Her track record has proven that she’s a force that many said the country needs – particularly at a time of such division that hasn’t surfaced in decades.
“I’m going to make a decision over the holidays,” Harris said in early December. “It will ultimately be a family decision.”
But Harris has provided plenty of clues that, when her announcement comes, she’s throwing her hat into what’s expected to be a field that includes Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke and even Harris’ close colleague New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
A Howard University graduate, Harris recently earned recognition as one of the California Bay Area’s “Talented 100” in the San Francisco Sun-Reporter newspaper.
In selecting Harris, the newspaper noted that she’s a “trailblazing politician and former prosecutor who has carved out an inspirational career in public service.”
Harris made history in 2016, when she won election to the U.S. Senate as the first African-American woman and first South Asian woman to represent the citizens of the Golden State.
Following her performance on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as an advocate for key Democratic Party agenda items, Harris has gained national prominence as a rising Democratic star.
Prior to becoming senator, Harris served as California’s first African American and first woman elected attorney general. She also made history when she was elected district attorney of San Francisco in 2003, becoming the first woman and first African American to do so.
After earning her degree at Howard, Harris received a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
“She inspires me, she’s a great colleague,” Booker said earlier this year during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference where Booker and Harris served as co-chairs.
Both have gone from rising star status to serious presidential contenders. During the legislative conference in September, Harris said the weeklong event served as a reminder of the work ahead.
“It’s about where we came from and where we’ve got to go,” she said. “That’s what this conference is about and this is a pivotal moment.
“I think we all know when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talked about the dream, it wasn’t about being asleep,” Harris said. “It was about being awake.”
When asked in an email this week whether she thought Harris, her friend, would announce her candidacy for president, San Francisco Sun-Reporter Publisher Amelia Ashley-Ward responded: “It’s my guess that she is.”