California Attorney General Kamala Harris beat out U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez to win retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer’s vacated Senate seat Tuesday, in a rare campaign between two Democrats with similar platforms.
The Associated Press called the election for Harris, who will fill the first open U.S. Senate seat for California in 24 years.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) November 9, 2016
With Harris’ victory, California Gov. Jerry Brown will have to appoint an new attorney general to fill the seat until the term ends in 2018. Harris is the first Indian American to be elected to the U.S. Senate, and since her father is an immigrant from Jamaica, she is also called the first female black senator from California, though Harris herself tends to avoid labeling herself as any one ethnic group.
As attorney general, Harris famously led an investigation into videos from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which released videos of alleged misconduct by Planned Parenthood administrators. California authorities even raided the apartment of CMP founder David Daleiden to confiscated all of the footage he obtained during his undercover project designed to expose the group’s dealings in fetal tissue. (RELATED: California Authorities Seize Planned Parenthood Footage In Apartment Raid)
Harris and Sanchez campaigned in a unique race for American politics. Both candidates were women, both are minorities, and both Democrats. Not a single Republican was in this race because a 2010 amendment to the California constitution. Under the new measure, the two candidates with the most most primary votes appear on the ballot for statewide races, rather than the top candidate from each party.
Harris attacked Sanchez for the candidate’s main selling point, her experience in Congress. “You can have a lot of stamps in your passport, but you’ve got to show up,” Harris said during the only debate of the campaign. California deserves a senator who “shows up and who gets things done,” Harris said. (RELATED: California Senate Candidate Loretta Sanchez ‘Dabs’ In The Middle Of A Debate)
In a campaign where both candidates held similar opinions on many issues like immigration, gun control and abortion, the race came down to popularity and who would be a more tenacious senator. Harris’s campaign led in fundraising, polls and support since she entered the race late last year, even receiving an endorsement from President Barack Obama in June.
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