Democrat senator Kamala Harris (California) launched her presidential campaign on Monday with an online video and an appearance on "Good Morning America" in which she said that "this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are."
Harris, 54, will hold an announcement rally in Oakland on January 27. In recent weeks she has been building up to an announcement with a new book, including appearances on shows such as "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." She also has been contacting donors to line up potential support.
Her announcement video features snappy, upbeat music that still warns that cherished American values are "all on the line now."
"The future of our country depends on you and millions or others, lifting our voices to fight for our American values," she says.
In her first term as a U.S. senator, Harris previously served as California's attorney general and, before that, as district attorney of San Francisco. During Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, she served as a surrogate Speaker, and was even then considered a rising figure within the party.
On "Good Morning America," she focused on her years spent as a prosecutor.
"My entire career has been focused on keeping people safe," Harris said. "It is one of the things that motivates me more than anything else. And when I look at this moment in time, I know that the American people deserve to have someone who is going to fight for them, who is going to see them, who is going to care about them, who will be concerned about their experience, and put them in front of self-interest."
Harris is the third female Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race, following Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), but the field is likely to expand in coming weeks. Julian Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, also launched a bid, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said that she plans to run. John Delaney, a former congressman from Maryland, announced his bid in 2017.