SPOTLIGHT

Enter Kamala Harris

The senator and former attorney general may be just what primary voters are looking for in 2020.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks to members of the media at her alma mater, Howard University, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 in Washington, following her announcement earlier in the morning that she will run for president. Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President Donald Trump's nominees, entered the Democratic presidential race on Monday. Vowing to "bring our voices together," Harris would be the first woman to hold the presidency and the second African-American if she succeeds.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
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Kyle Trygstad
Jan. 22, 2019, 10:31 a.m.

If a year from now Democratic voters above all else want the greatest possible contrast with President Trump and someone best prepared to prosecute the case against his reelection, who better than a woman of color who is a former attorney general and district attorney?

Sen. Kamala Harris formally entered the presidential election Monday on the annual celebration of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. with loads of symbolism and upside to spare.

The California native, who has been in the Senate for two years, was unknown to more than half of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents polled this month, and Republicans immediately labeled her “the least vetted Democrat running for president.” But that could work to her advantage in a wide field.

Her short tenure on Capitol Hill clearly puts her behind several potential opponents in national experience, but primary voters will see a contender who they only know for her oversight efforts of the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, Harris may be a relatively fresh face, but she won a couple of hard-fought down-ballot contests before her election to the Senate that indicate she is up for the challenge of what's to come.

-- Kyle Trygstad

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