SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Sen. Kamala Harris told supporters on Tuesday that she was ending her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
“I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” the California Democrat said. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”
A senior campaign aide said Harris made the decision Monday after discussing the path forward with family and other top officials over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Her abrupt withdrawal marked a dramatic fall for a candidate who showed extraordinary promise. Harris launched her campaign in front of 20,000 people on a chilly January day in Oakland, California. The first woman and first black attorney general and U.S. senator in California’s history, she was widely viewed as a candidate poised to excite the multiracial coalition of voters that sent Barack Obama to the White House.
Her departure erodes the diversity of the Democratic field, which is dominated at the moment by a top-tier that is white and mostly male.
“She was an important voice in the race, out before others who raised less and were less electable. It’s a loss not to have her voice in the race,” said Aimee Allison, who leads She the People, a group that promotes women of color.
Harris ultimately could not craft a message that resonated with voters or secure the money to continue her run.
She raised an impressive $12 million in the first three months of her campaign and quickly locked down major endorsements meant to show her dominance in her home state, which offers the biggest delegate haul in the Democratic primary contest.
But as the field grew, Harris’s fundraising remained flat; she was unable to attract the type of attention being showered on Pete Buttigieg by traditional donors or the grassroots firepower that drove tens of millions of dollars to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
In her note to supporters, Harris lamented the role of money in politics and, without naming them, took a shot at billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, who are funding their presidential bids.
“I’m not a billionaire,” she said. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”
Harris suffered from what allies and critics viewed as an inconsistent pitch to voters. Her slogan “for the people,” referenced her career as a prosecutor, a record that was viewed skeptically by the party’s most progressive voters.