Oakland: Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris said that she is capable of unifying the country and would fight for the needs of all Americans. Harris who announced her candidacy on January 21 said that she is running for the presidential post as she loves her country. She said, “I’m running for president because I love my country. I’m running to be a president by the people. Of the people. For all the people.”

Stating that her whole life had been dedicated to people, Harris said, “My whole life, I’ve only had one client: The people”. Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, has drawn deeply from symbolism as she has rolled out her campaign. If Harris were to win the White House, she would be the first African-American woman and first person of Asian descent to be president.

Her first news conference as a candidate was on the campus of Howard University, the historically black college in the nation’s capital that she attended as an undergraduate. On Friday, she was in South Carolina to speak to members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, of which she is a member. Harris’ campaign is expected to highlight her career as a prosecutor as part of her rationale for seeking the presidency.

Harris was the first black woman elected district attorney in California, as well as the first woman, first African-American and first Asian-American to hold that job. Some of her tenure as attorney general, particularly relating to criminal justice, has come under early scrutiny. Harris is among the first major Democrats to jump into what is expected to be a crowded 2020 presidential contest.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have announced exploratory committees. Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Julian Castro, federal housing chief under President Barack Obama and a former San Antonio mayor, already are in the race.

Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bernie Sanders of Vermont may also run.

After the rally, Harris planned to her first trip to Iowa as a presidential candidate. In the weeks before last November’s elections, Harris travelled to the leadoff caucus state to campaign on behalf of Democrats, and also visited other early-voting states. Harris’s campaign will be based in Baltimore and led by Juan Rodriguez who managed her 2016 Senate campaign. Aides say the campaign will have a second office in Oakland.

(With PTI inputs)