California Attorney General Kamala Harris is expected to announce a bid Tuesday to take over the seat Senator Barbara Boxer leaves after the longtime U.S. senator retires, launching a race for the first open senate seat in California since 1992.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Will Be the First to Formally Announce a Run
Boxer announced last week that she would not run for reelection in 2016, and though the field of speculative replacements is wide, Harris will be the first candidate to formally declare her intentions is she does as she is expected on Tuesday.
2. She’s in Her Second Term
Called a “female Obama” when she first ran for office in 2011, Harris comes from a multicultural background.
As he campaign literature said in 2011, she is considered the “the first female, the first African-American, the first Asian-American attorney general in California and the first South Asian-American attorney general in the nation.”
As San Francisco’s district attorney, Harris was known for her stance against hate crimes, particularly those targeting the LGBT community, creating a special hate crimes unit to deal with the issue.
3. The Lieutenant Governor Is Not Running
Gavin Newsom, California’s current lieutenant governor, was widely expected to run for Boxer’s seat but, as he told CNN, his path is leading him elsewhere:
“While I am humbled by the widespread encouragement of so many and hold in the highest esteem those who serve us in federal office, I know that my head and my heart, my young family’s future and our unfinished work all remain firmly in the state of California — not Washington, D.C. Therefore I will not seek election to the U.S. Senate in 2016.”
4. She Won’t Run Unopposed
Though Harris is the first to officially announce a run for Bocxer’s seat, she’s not the only one expected to attem[t it. Among those said to be considering a run for the senate are Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and climate change activist Tom Steyer.
5. Boxer Won’t Be Going Away
Boxer announced last week that she would be retiring from the U.S. Senate after 22 years in office but, as she said in an interview, she will most likely be helping the Democratic presidential nominee keep the White House blue.
As Boxer told her grandson, Zach Rodham, in an interview:
“Zach, I am never going to retire. The work is too important. But I will not be running for the Senate in 2016. I have to make sure the Senate seat stays progressive. That is so critical. And I want to help our Democratic candidate for president make history.”