Campaign

Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president

Labor and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) for president on Friday and joined the first-term senator's campaign as co-chair.

 

Huerta, who first jumped into the national spotlight in the 1960s as a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association in California, said Harris's vision is "exactly what we should hope for from the next President of the United States."

 

The endorsement is a major win for Harris, whose past as a former attorney general and federal prosecutor has at times raised questions about her social justice credentials.

 

"For her entire career, she has fought on behalf of and given voice to the vulnerable from creating innovative programs to help first-time offenders get education and job training to avoid recidivism, to demanding that California and our country protect immigrant communities and afford them the opportunity to fully contribute to the country they love," Huerta said Friday.

 

Since her announcement in January, Harris has outpaced other Democratic contenders in collecting endorsements and putting together a primary campaign structure.

 

A day after her announcement on Jan. 28, Harris was featured in a CNN town hall from the early voting state of Iowa.

 

Harris has collected several endorsements from top California Democrats, including Reps. Ted Lieu, Nanette Barragán, Katie Hill and Barbara Lee, the chairwoman of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

 

Former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), whose seat Harris now holds, is her campaign's other co-chair.

 

Support in California is likely to play an outsized role in next year's Democratic primaries, as the state has moved its election date to March.

 

Huerta's endorsement helps Harris with several key voter blocs, including Hispanics, progressives and labor organizations.

 

"I have spent my career advocating for workers' rights, immigrants' rights, women's rights, and on behalf of the LBGTQ community because I believe our country is only as great as the opportunities we afford all our communities. Senator Kamala Harris is the right leader to expand those opportunities as president, and I am proud to endorse her," said Huerta.

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