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President Obama and Vice President Biden on Tuesday announced they are endorsing California Attorney General Kamala Harris in the state’s Senate race between two Democratic candidates.
Obama called his longtime ally Harris “a lifelong courtroom prosecutor” who has stood up to big banks, human traffickers and big oil companies.
“I am proud to endorse Kamala Harris because I have seen her work,” Obama said in a statement. “That’s the approach she’ll take to the United States Senate.”
The White House endorsement could provide a major boost to Harris, who is facing off against Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) to replace the retiring Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerFirst senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid Bass receives endorsement from EMILY's List Bass gets mayoral endorsement from former California senator MORE (D-Calif.)
Harris leads Sanchez 39 to 24 percent, according to a July Field Poll. But no Republican is running in the race, and 22 percent of voters remain undecided.
The attorney general already defeated the congresswoman in the Democratic primary, but both qualified for the general election under California’s top-two primary system.
The endorsement from Obama and Biden add to Harris’s backing from party heavyweights, including California Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter FDA proposes rule to offer over-the-counter hearing aids MORE (D-Mass.).
Harris, the Golden State’s first black female attorney general, has been a supporter of Obama’s dating back to his first Senate campaign.
During a 2013 fundraiser, Obama called Harris “the best looking attorney general.” He later called her to apologize.