Initial Thoughts on a Kamala Harris for US Senate Bid

In the latest edition of political musical chairs…

I am hearing mixed reaction on California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ announcement that she plans to run for US Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat.

A lot of people in California — namely Democrats and African-Americans — pushed and fought very hard for Harris to beat retired LA County District Attorney Steve Cooley. They wanted someone progressive in that position who was committed to seeing through the changes that many felt needed to be made.  All of those changes have not been made.

In 2010 Harris ran on a progressive platform. She was openly opposed to the death penalty, supported gay marriage, championed a program that offered young people charged with non-violent crimes three month paid internships in exchange for guilty pleas–in addition to other progressive ideas as it related to the criminal justice system. In fact, one might argue that she really woke up a lot voters when it came to the importance of the Attorney General position and having a progressive like her in it.

I’m hearing some people say they’d rather have her stay in her current position where she can do more good for the people of California in pushing through the changes that she campaigned on that still have not materialized.

If she wins her bid for US Senate, we could very likely see the resurgence of a Steve Cooley for CA Attorney General campaign. In 2010, he lost 45 percent to Harris’ 46 percent.

One thing I know for sure, Cooley is no Harris and his winning would be the end of a lot of changes Californians have been fighting for as it relates to the criminal justice system.

On the other hand, I haven’t heard or read one comment from anyone excited about an Antonio Villaraigosa campaign for US Senate.  Although I will say that a Harris vs. Villaraigosa battle could really put the proclaimed lovefest between Black and brown Democrats to the test.

Stay tuned…the battle lines are being drawn.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • alcie aboudit

    A few years ago, Antonio Villaraigosa considered a run for Governor of California. He ultimately decided not to enter that election, probably a wise decision made after polling consultants showed that he would end up as the loser.

    Barbara Boxer’s announcement that she won’t stand for reelection is an easy opportunity for Villaraigosa to draw attention to himself as a potential candidate.
    That’s what Villaraigosa misses the most since he left the Mayor’s office – being the focus of media attention.
    But Villaraigosa’s political trajectory has already peaked, he barely won reelection as L.A. Mayor against 7 no-name opponents.

    Villaraigosa also misses the comp tickets and other free stuff offered to elected officials.
    He doesn’t have a chance of getting elected to Boxer’s Senate seat unless John Perez can get all the other viable candidates to stay out of the race.
    And Perez is currently out of office himself.

    Villaraigosa is most likely sniffing around for an offer from Harris to buy his announcement of not running and his endorsement.

  • alcie aboudit

    I wouldn’t get too concerned about Steve Cooley coming out of retirement to make another run for election to the office of Attorney General of California. His campaign for A.G. in 2010 was lacking in enthusiasm and drive. That’s probably because Sheriff Lee Baca’s desire to send his man to Sacramento was what pushed Cooley’s candidacy into that election.

    Whether California A.G. Kamala Harris ends up running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 or stays to complete her 2nd and final term, the most viable and likely Southern California Democratic candidate to replace her would be either Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey or Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

  • SurfPuppy619

    Jackie Lacey has been DA for only 2 years, she is not AG material, not yet anyway.

  • Bobby Lee Smith

    Race, race, race… Black vs brown voters? Come on, we can do better as a state and nation. What is best for California? See what a “progressive” approach to crime control has brought us: prop 47! Where it’s only misdemeanor to posses crack, cocaine, meth! If you steal less than 900 dollars worth of anything, including a cell phone out of someone’s hand. You will never see the inside of a jail. Is that the right type of sentencing structure we need in california ?