California U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris easily captured one of two spots in the November runoff Tuesday, moving the state attorney general into a potentially historic election.
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It’s possible that voters could send the two Democrats, both minority women, to the general election. Under California’s unusual election rules, the top two vote getters in statewide, congressional and legislative primaries advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
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Kamala Devi Harris (born October 20, 1964) is an American attorney, politician and member of the Democratic Party, who has been the 32nd and current Attorney General of California since 2011.
Harris graduated from Howard University and University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, California, from 1990 to 1998. She served as Managing Attorney of the Career Criminal Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, from 1998 to 2000, and as Chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division in the office of San Francisco City Attorney, from 2000 to 2003. In 2003, she was elected District Attorney of San Francisco, defeating incumbent Terence Hallinan. She was re-elected in 2007 and served from 2004 to 2011.
Harris was elected California’s Attorney General in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. Harris is the first female, the first African-American, and the first Asian-American attorney general in California. She won the primary election for the United States Senate seat in California. In the November 2016 election, she will face the runner-up, Democrat Loretta Sanchez, to determine who will replace Democrat Barbara Boxer in the 2016 election.
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If Harris and Sanchez prevail, it will be the first time since voters started directly electing senators a century ago that Republicans are absent from California’s general election ballot for the Senate. Before the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, state legislatures chose senators.
“The stakes are high. The eyes of the country are on us, and I know we are prepared to do ourselves and our state and our fellow Californians proud,” Harris told cheering supporters at a celebration rally.
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