Harris currently has one of the Senate's most progressive voting records but has also come under scrutiny over her time as prosecutor.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., walks through the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 10, 2019.Caroline Brehman / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file
Breaking News Emails
The content of the article:
- 1 Breaking News Emails
- 2 Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s running mate. Here’s her story.
- 3 She has one of the most progressive voting records in the Senate
- 4 Her first campaign featured an opponent weighed down by the “Fajitagate” scandal
- 5 Trump has made campaign donations to Harris
- 6 Harris was close with Biden’s late son Beau
- 7 She was a contender to serve as Obama’s attorney general
- 8 She has received strong criticism over her background in law enforcement
- 9 She made headlines for grilling Trump administration officials and nominees
- 10 She loves french fries
- 11 She does a keen impersonation of her Jewish mother-in-law
- 12 She does not have a pet but is fond of dogs
Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.SUBSCRIBEAug. 11, 2020, 11:24 PM UTCBy Allan Smith
You may already know Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is the first Black woman and the first Asian American woman to be chosen as a major party’s vice-presidential candidate. But did you know she is also the first person from a state west of Texas to ever appear on a Democratic ticket?
Tapped on Tuesday to be former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate, Harris has served in the Senate since 2017 following a six-year stint as California’s attorney general and seven years as the San Francisco district attorney.
Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s running mate. Here’s her story.
Aug. 11, 202004:55
Though she ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign last year, many Americans will just now begin to become more familiar with Harris’ life and political beliefs.
Here are 10 things you may not know about the junior senator from California:
She has one of the most progressive voting records in the Senate
While Harris and Biden are sometimes thought to be ideologically similar, trackers have consistently rated her voting record as one of the most progressive in the U.S. Senate. ProgressivePunch rates her as the fourth-most-progressive member of the Senate, ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Her first campaign featured an opponent weighed down by the “Fajitagate” scandal
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When Harris first ran for San Francisco district attorney in 2004, she faced off against two men: the incumbent, Terence Hallinan, and lawyer Bill Fazio. Harris would finish second in the initial election before besting Hallinan 13 points in the runoff.
One of Hallinan’s weak spots was his handling of “Fajitagate” — which began with a 2002 street fight between three off-duty police officers and residents over a takeout bag of fajitas. Hallinan charged the city’s police chief, Prentice Sanders, in connection to the ordeal, only to later drop the charges once he was unable to prove a cover-up effort. The episode helped pave a path for Harris’ eventual victory.
Trump has made campaign donations to Harris
The president made two donations to Harris’ California attorney general re-election campaign. The first was in 2011, when Trump donated $5,000. In 2013, Trump sent the Harris campaign $1,000. Meanwhile, in 2014, his daughter Ivanka — now a top White House aide — donated $2,000 to the then-state attorney general.
Harris was close with Biden’s late son Beau
As state attorneys general in California and Delaware, Harris and the younger Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015, developed a close friendship and worked together on issues, particularly those pertaining to the big banks following the financial crisis of 2008.
“There were periods, when I was taking the heat,” Harris wrote in her 2019 memoir, “when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day.”
She was a contender to serve as Obama’s attorney general
Harris would ultimately say she was not interested in succeeding Eric Holder after he announced he was stepping down in 2014. Obama later selected Loretta Lynch.
PoliticsPhotos: Kamala Harris' political path
She has received strong criticism over her background in law enforcement
Some progressives have taken umbrage with Harris casting herself as a “progressive prosecutor,” pointing to a number of her actions as San Francisco district attorney and as California’s top cop. In the Senate, she has become a leading voice on criminal justice reform and helped author Democrats’ police reform bill earlier this year.
She made headlines for grilling Trump administration officials and nominees
Harris has put her prosecutorial chops to use in a number of high-profile committee hearings, going viral for her questioning of Attorney General William Barr and then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
She loves french fries
Confirming @KamalaHarris loves her fries. She makes them at home too…hand cut, double fried (peanut oil then duck fat) with rosemary and sage from our herb garden. Also gotta give a strong 👍 to @SenGillibrand for hers! https://t.co/SW6Zs4jn9W pic.twitter.com/Z8nCTtysVY
— Douglas Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) June 20, 2019
She does a keen impersonation of her Jewish mother-in-law
In which @KamalaHarris talks about @douglasemhoff’s parents, and their reaction the first time they saw her! 😁😁😁 #KHive #DougHive pic.twitter.com/FK0o3NXLak
— Sudaraka (@SudarakaA) July 21, 2019
She does not have a pet but is fond of dogs
Dogs are always welcome in my Senate office – here are a few paw-licy advisors who regularly stop by. #NationalPetDay pic.twitter.com/vVbriFTlg5
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) April 11, 2019