Senator Kamala Harris, the California Democrat and barrier-breaking prosecutor who became the second black woman to serve in the United States Senate, declared her candidacy for president on Monday, joining an increasingly crowded and diverse field in what promises to be a wide-open nomination process.
The choreography of the announcement carried abundant symbolism: Ms. Harris entered the race on the holiday of Martin Luther King’s Birthday, an overt nod to the historic nature of her candidacy. Her timing was also meant to evoke Shirley Chisholm, the New York congresswoman who became the first woman to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president 47 years ago this week.
In addition, Ms. Harris will hold her first campaign event on Friday in South Carolina, where black voters are the dominant force in the Democratic primary, rather than start off by visiting Iowa and New Hampshire, the two predominantly white states that hold their nomination contests first.
“Nobody is living their life through the lens of one issue. And I think what people want is leadership that sees them through the complexity of their lives and pays equal attention to their needs. Let’s not put people in a box.
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