Kamala Harris Drops Out of 2020 Race

Sen. Kamala Harris speaks to news media after the Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta, Ga, November 20, 2019. (Chris Aluka Berry/Reuters)

Senator Kamala Harris informed supporters on Tuesday that she is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race, citing a lack of financial resources.

“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,” Harris wrote in a Medium post. The California senator cancelled a donor event in New York on Tuesday, after falling to a mere 2 percent in the latest national Harris-Hill poll released Monday to mark her latest slide in polls.

“To my supporters, it is with deep regret — but also with deep gratitude — that I am suspending my campaign today. But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people,” Harris tweeted in her announcement.

After announcing her campaign in February on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to much fanfare, Harris labelled herself a “top-tier candidate” in July, after attacking Joe Biden’s record on busing in a strong opening debate performance. But Harris later backtracked on her busing comments, and was repeatedly exposed by Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) for an overzealous prosecutorial record in California and a hypocritical turn on marijuana enforcement — a shift criticized by her own father — which saw her gradually slip in the polls.

Following the announcement, Gabbard graciously tweeted best wishes to Harris.

During the July debate, Gabbard attacked Harris for putting “over 1500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked” and for fighting “to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.” Harris responded by continuing to defend her record.

In an October interview, Harris blamed her decline on sexism and racism.

“Essentially, is America ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States?” Harris said. “There is a lack of ability or a difficulty in imagining that someone whom we have never seen can do a job that has been done 45 times by someone who is not that person.”

Harris was also plagued with reports of campaign mismanagement that began to emerge after she announced dozens of layoffs in November. Many of the campaign staffers cited in the reports blamed campaign chair Maya Harris, the candidate’s sister, and campaign manager Juan Rodriguez, for a lack of clear direction.

On Tuesday, Harris wrote “I am extremely grateful to the hundreds of staff who moved and uprooted their lives and sacrificed time away from their families. I know our fight has been personal for each of them.”

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