California Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), once considered a frontrunner in the 2020 presidential election, announced on Tuesday afternoon that she would be dropping out of the crowded primary field.
Harris had been struggling with a lack of funding and diminishing poll numbers for months, with rumors swirling of an intended exit for weeks before the official announcement. The final decision came just after billionaire Michael Bloomberg, a newcomer to the race funded with $100 million of his own cash, outranked Harris in a Hill-HarrisX poll and had tied with her in a Morning Consult poll. In early November, Harris began laying off and reassigning campaign staff, she also ended her efforts in New Hampshire in order to focus her limited resources on Iowa.
“My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue,” she wrote in an email to supporters. “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,” she continued, taking a jab at Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, another self-funded billionaire running for president.
Harris told staffers this morning in a call that she would end her campaign, she reportedly sounded distraught.
The sudden end of the campaign comes as a shock to some, a super PAC had just spent $1 million in an ad buy in Iowa claiming Harris was the only candidate who could successfully take on President Donald Trump. The ads have been canceled.
Harris had already qualified for the December presidential debates, the only candidate of color to do so thus far.
“Eleven months ago at the launch of our campaign in Oakland I told you all: ‘I am not perfect.’ But I will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. I will speak the truth. And that’s what I have tried to do every day of this campaign. So here’s the truth today,” Harris wrote in her note to supporters. “I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life.”
Harris, a notorious litigator famous for her tough line of questioning in Senate hearings is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and will likely play an outsized role in the upcoming impeachment trial of Trump.
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