Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) endorsed Joe Biden on Sunday, the latest in a rapid-fire round of former Democratic rivals lining up to support the former vice president’s bid.
Harris, a freshman senator from California, rose to national prominence after announcing her campaign to nearly 20,000 people in Oakland in January 2019.
“When I started my run for president, I said America needs a president who reflects the decency and dignity of the American people; a president who speaks the truth; and a president who fights for those whose voices are too often overlooked or ignored,” she said in a statement. “I still believe that to this day. That is why I am proud to announce I am endorsing my friend, Vice President Joe Biden, for President of the United States.”
Harris exited the race in early December, shocking some top allies and voters who championed the prospect of an African-American woman at the helm of the Democratic Party’s ticket in 2020. The senator had previously made a concerted pitch to stay in the contest until the Iowa caucuses but, after running low on money for months, her candidacy raised concerns with donors whom she relied on heavily.
Before things spiraled downward, however, the California Democrat was riding a wave of enthusiasm after a breakout performance during the first primary debate in June in Miami. Ironically, it was that performance—where she attacked Biden for his past record on desegregation issues during his Senate tenure—that gave her campaign a boost of momentum.
“Like many women, I watched with sadness as women exited the race one by one. Four years after our nominee, the first woman to win the nomination of a major party, received 3 million more votes than Donald Trump but still lost, we find ourselves without any woman on a path to be the Democratic nominee for president,” Harris said. “This is something we must reckon with and it is something I will have more to say about in the future. But we must rise to unite the party and country behind a candidate who reflects the decency and dignity of the American people and who can ultimately defeat Donald Trump.”
Before the official announcement, there was talk among Harris allies that she would wait until Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) dropped out of the race before she would offer her support for Biden, who gained significant ground on Super Tuesday. In announcing on Sunday, Harris added her name to the more than 1,500 national, state, and local leaders who lined up in rapid succession to support Biden.
Several of those were his former opponents. Just before 14 states voted on Tuesday, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who occupied a similar ideologically moderate positioning to Biden, and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) endorsed his White House bid.