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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Kamala Harris, first Indian-American woman in US presidential race, bows out of 2020 bid

Harris could still stay in the race, but as a running mate with whoever wins the presidential ticket eventually.

world Updated: Dec 04, 2019 07:51 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris announced on Tuesday that she was suspending her bid for the White House.
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris announced on Tuesday that she was suspending her bid for the White House.(AP File Photo)
         

Kamala Harris, the first Indian American woman to run for the White House, announced Tuesday she was suspending her bid for lack of funds.

First-term Senator Harris’s campaign was struggling with depleting resources and several offices had been shut down in recent weeks and staff downsized. There had also been reports of bitter in-fighting among factions in the campaign.

Harris told her supporters in an email she was suspending her campaign because of lack of funds. “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,” she wrote.

“It is with deep regret — but also with deep gratitude — that I am suspending my campaign today,” she added.

Harris could still stay in the race, but as a running mate with whoever wins the ticket eventually. Speculation started soon after she made her exit official.

The first-time Democratic senator had entered the race with much fanfare and expectations. She had also reported high fund collections figures and made a mark in the first debates with an epic take down of former Vice-President Joe Biden, the frontrunner.

She was sixth in latest RealClearPolitics average of polls at 3.4%, behind Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg.

Even while Harris, whose mother came from Chennai and father from Jamaica, polled among the top five candidates for months, her candidacy was marked by ambivalence on issues closest to Democrats, such as healthcare. She made several flip-flops that raised serious questions about her understanding of the issue.

While she ran as an African American, a pitch that was clear from the start when she held her first news conferences as a candidate at a predominantly black college, she failed to find traction among African Americans, most of whom have supported Biden and continue to do so.

There are now 15 candidates left in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination to take on President Donald Trump in 2020 and try and deny him a second term.