Wednesday 17th January 2018,

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Race Enters California Senate Campaign

posted by Randall

Kamala Harris and Barack ObamaBy Ed Diokno

California Attorney General. Kamala Harris’ bid for the U.S. Senate got a major boost with the endorsement of  both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.


Harris’ opponent in the November election, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, seemed to initially imply that race was a factor in Obama’s endorsement.


In an interview with Spanish-language Univision, Sanchez was asked her response to the significant endorsement. She said in Spanish that Obama and Harris are longtime friends, then added: “She is African American. He is, too.”

Loretta Sanchez

Rep Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove)

Sanchez backtracked on her interview statement saying she never meant to say race was a factor in the endorsement. In a prepared statement released yesterday, the Orange County congressional representative said, “I would think the Leader of the Democratic Party would be focused on defeating Donald Trump and supporting Democratic Senate candidates against Republicans.”


Harris’s mother is from India and her father is Jamaican American. If elected, Harris would become the first Indian American to win a Senate seat.


In his endorsement statement, Obama said:

Kamala’s experience has taught her that if you’re going to give everybody a fair shot, you’ve got to take on the special interests that too often stand in the way of progress. As Attorney General, she fought the big banks that took advantage of homeowners across the country – and she won. She cracked down on transnational gangs exploiting women and children – and she won. She took on big for-profit colleges that were swindling students and leaving them with a lifetime of debt and a worthless degree – and she won. She took on big oil companies to defend California’s beautiful coast and its landmark law to fight climate change – and she won. Her leadership helped ensure the right of all Americans to marry the person they love. And throughout her lifetime as a prosecutor, Kamala Harris has been a leading voice for criminal justice reform, challenging old dogma and insisting we be “smart on crime” by ending mass incarceration.

Harris led Obama’s campaign effort in California in 2008 and was considered a candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat after his death.

It is not the first time that Sanchez’s statements have put the candidate in hot water.

After the San Bernardino shootings earlier this year, she said “anywhere between 5 and 20 percent” of Muslims “ have a desire for a caliphate,” and that they are “willing to use and they do use terrorism.” When Muslim American groups criticized the comments, Sanchez said she was speaking in global terms, not about U.S. Muslims. But she has stood by her statement.


Last Spring, while speaking to Indian American Democrats, she commented that she thought she would be speaking to Native Americans and during her speech she tapped her hand to her mouth to imitate the whooping sounds associated with the stereotype of Native Americans.


Recent polls indicate that Harris has a double-digit lead over Sanchez. Both are Democrats, but Sanchez is hoping to woo Republicans who think that Harris is too liberal.



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