The 54-year-old former prosecutor is the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India and enters the race with the potential advantage of being the Democratic candidate who looks most like the party’s increasingly diverse base of young, female and minority voters.
She timed her announcement for the U.S. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader, saying he was an aspirational leader.
The former California state attorney general has become popular with liberal activists for her tough questioning of Trump administration appointees and officials, including Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, during Senate hearings.
Her campaign will focus on reducing the high cost of living with a middle-class tax credit, pursuing immigration and criminal justice changes and a Medicare-for-all healthcare system. She has said she will reject corporate political action committee money.
Harris’ campaign will be based in Baltimore, with a second office in Oakland, California. Her slogan will be “For the People,” in a nod to Harris’ roots as a prosecutor.