First-term Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California, a rising party star and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump's immigration policies, launched her 2020 campaign for the White House on Monday in an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Harris, 54, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, enters the race with the potential advantage of being the Democratic candidate who looks most like the party's increasingly diverse base of young, female and minority voters.
"Let's do this, together. Let's claim our future. For ourselves, for our children, and for our country," Harris said in a campaign video that was released to coincide with her television appearance.
The announcement falls on the U.S. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader, and the day was selected as a reminder of the aspirational fight for progress, an aide said.
Harris will likely have to jostle through a crowd of Democrats to challenge President Donald Trump. The former California attorney general started her first Senate term only in 2017, and quickly became an outspoken critic of the president.
During this year's midterms, the senator made campaign stops in early voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina. Harris, the only black woman in the Senate, has reportedly set up a strategy to build support in more diverse states such as South Carolina and California.
Harris has signed on to various pieces of liberal legislation ahead of her bid. In October, she announced a plan that would give working families up to $6,000 per year.
Harris has become popular with liberal activists for her tough questioning of Trump administration appointees and officials, including Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, during Senate hearings.
Her campaign will focus on reducing the high cost of living with a middle-class tax credit, pursuing immigration and criminal justice changes and a Medicare-for-all healthcare system. She has said she will reject corporate political action committee money.
Harris' campaign will be based in Baltimore, with a second office in Oakland, California. Her slogan will be "For the People," in a nod to Harris' roots as a prosecutor, aides said.
She will hold a launch rally in Oakland before the end of the month.
As one of the earliest congressional critics of President Donald Trump's immigration policies, Harris has pushed hard for a deal to protect from deportation those immigrants who came to the country illegally as children, a group known as Dreamers.
Harris is the fifth Democrat to enter what is shaping up to be a crowded battle for the nomination to challenge Trump, the likely Republican candidate.
She and other Democrats will have to navigate the party's debate about whether an establishment figure who can appeal to centrist voters or a fresh face who can energize its increasingly diverse and progressive base offers the best chance to beat Trump in 2020.
Harris, who made history in 2016 as the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate from California, has embraced the party's diversity ahead of a Democratic nominating campaign where minority voters and liberal activists are expected to have an outsized voice.