On MLK Day, Kamala Harris enters the 2020 presidential race

On MLK Day, Kamala Harris enters the 2020 presidential race

"Let's claim our future, our ourselves, for our children and four our country".

Thrilled to see @KamalaHarris enter the 2020 field. Day holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader, and the day was selected as a reminder of the aspirational fight for progress, an aide said.

- ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) January 21, 2019Dem field incredibly strong. Harris, though, appears ready to embrace the challenge.

When asked to respond to concerns she doesn't have enough experience working in government at the federal level, she touted her "leadership skills, experience and integrity", and promised to "fight" for the American people.

In a video released Monday morning as she made her announcement, Harris explains her interest in launching a campaign, detailing values such as "truth, justice, decency, equality, freedom [and] democracy", which she says are "all on the line now".

Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a breast-cancer scientist originally from Chennai, India, brought Harris and her sister Maya to Montreal in the 1970s when she took a job teaching at McGill University and doing research at the Jewish General Hospital.

During a tense exchange with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions over Trump campaign contacts with Russia, Sessions stopped her.

In the Senate she has earned a reputation for sharp questioning and a sceptical approach to Trump Administration officials.

But she didn't directly answer a question from a reporter on whether inmates from around the country should have access to gender reassignment surgery.

Some of that tenure is bound to come under scrutiny during her presidential campaign, but she nonetheless is expected to highlight her career as a prosecutor.

The 54-year-old, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, is described as a rising star within the party.

As California's attorney general, she refused to defend Proposition 8, the state's ban on same-sex marriage, and also refused to certify a "Kill the Gays" ballot initiative that would have instituted the death penalty for homosexuality.

Before her 2016 victory in the Senate race, Senator Harris served as the district attorney in San Francisco before she was elected to serve as attorney-general.

While avoiding directly engaging Trump, Harris has accused the President of stoking racist and xenophobic rhetoric, while aligning his administration with white supremacists at home, and cozying up to dictators overseas.

"The problem isn't that Harris was an especially bad prosecutor".

She "knew that there was an important role on the inside, sitting at the table where the decisions were being made", she wrote. "Most communities do. They don't want excessive force. To become a prosecutor is to make a choice to align oneself with a powerful and fundamentally biased system".

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on Sen.

Although she identifies herself primarily as African-American, as indeed does the U.S. media, Harris has spoken in the past about her influential Indian past that involved summer holidays in Chennai's Besant Nagar, where she visited her maternal grandfather, P V Gopalan, a freedom fighter and an Indian diplomat.

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