California Senator Kamala Harris is throwing her support behind Jaime Harrison, a candidate who is running to unseat Lindsey Graham in the 2020 Senate race in South Carolina. Harrison is a major challenger for the 17-year-incumbent, having raised $3.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

In a press release to the Associated Press announcing her endorsement, Harris said of the South Carolina native, Harrison “believes every South Carolinian deserves the opportunity to not just get by, but to thrive and succeed. I am confident he will continue to fight for South Carolinians in the Senate. I am proud to endorse Jaime Harrison for U.S. Senate.”

Harris’s endorsement follows fellow U.S. Senator and one-time presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who was a classmate of Harris’s at Yale. Harris and Booker are two of only three Black senators currently serving in the United States Congress. The third is Republican Sen. Tim Scott who also represents the state of South Carolina. If Harrison manages to unseat Graham in November, South Carolina will become the first state in the history of this nation to have two Black senators representing the same state.    

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

During a recent sit-down with ESSENCE, Harrison said that part of the reason he is running is that Graham has neglected the people of South Carolina, and has instead been spending his time paling up to Donald Trump. While people of the state have been suffering in the areas of education, healthcare, and the environment, their concerns have been falling on Graham’s deaf ears. Harrison says he’s lived through adversity and understands what the people need. It’s likely why Sen. Harris called him an “advocate for the people” before officially backing him.

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In addition to Harris, Harrison has received coveted endorsements from House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, with whom he worked with for many years as a congressional aide, and whom he still considers a political mentor. According to AP, the campaign also says he’s received backing from Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries.


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