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Indian-American Kamala Harris could be in race for Senate seat

Indian-American Kamala Harris, the Attorney General of California, could be in race for a Senate seat from the state after Barbara Boxer announced her retirement from the US Senate today.

While there was no word from Harris, mainstream American media reported that the California Attorney General was most likely to take the plunge for the Senate race.

Born of an Indian mother – Shyamala Gopalan – who emigrated from Chennai in the 60s, and Jamaican-American father, Stanford University economics professor Donald Harris, she is the first ever Asian-American and African-American to be elected to this top position in California.

A close confidant of the US President Barack Obama, Harris is considered to be a rising star in the Democratic Party.

If Harris decides to run for the California Senate seat vacated by Boxer, she would be the first ever Indian-American elected to the US Senate.

Earlier today, Boxer, 74, announced that she will not run for re-election in 2016.

So far, only three Indian-Americans have been elected to the US House of Representatives: Dalip Singh Saund, Bobby Jindal and Ami Bera, who was re-elected for his second term last November.

“Attorney General Kamala Harris is widely seen – for now – as the one most likely to take the plunge,” the Los Angeles Weekly reported.

“I think Kamala will have a head start,” The Washington Post said quoting an unnamed Democratic source.

“Democrats are buzzing about both California Attorney General Kamala Harris and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, their two rising stars, as early front-runners should they jump in,” The Hill reported.

“If she decides to run for the Senate, she’ll likely scare off more opponents because of her profile as a female, African-American hero of the liberal base, while observers say Newsom may face a more crowded field,” it added.

In a statement, Harris said for over three decades, Boxer has served the people of California with an unwavering commitment to bettering the lives of her constituents.

“Senator Boxer is a true progressive champion and a tireless advocate for California’s priorities. I know she will never stop fighting for what matters, and I wish her all the best,” Harris said.

Harris was sworn in for her second term on Monday.

“Witness the important conversation that is taking place – in our living rooms and on our streets – here in California and around the nation,” said Harris in a speech after taking the oath of office, administered by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

“The conversation about the relationship of trust between law enforcement and communities we are sworn to serve,” she added.

“As law enforcement leaders we must confront this crisis of confidence. The work to build trust with the communities we are sworn to protect never ends,” said Harris.


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