Washington: Eminent Indian American
activist Kamla Harris has won the Democratic Party nomination
for California Attorney General, giving her a chance to become
the first woman to hold the office if she emerges victorious
in the November race.
Harris handsomely defeated six other rivals including
Facebook executive Chris Kelly, who had pumped in more than
USD 12 million into the primary elections held yesterday.
Daughter of an Indian mother and African American
father, Harris is currently the San Francisco Attorney
She faces Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles District
Attorney General, in the November elections, to replace
Democratic Jerry Brown, who is running for Governor.
If elected, Harris will be the first woman to hold the
office of Attorney General in California.
"We have a lot of work to do before November?but we
are clear of purpose, clear of mind. We believe in hard work,
but we also believe that it can be fun work. Let`s celebrate
tonight," she said in her victory speech last night.
In December 2003, Kamala Harris was elected as the
first woman District Attorney in San Francisco`s history, and
as the first African American woman and South Asian American
woman in California to hold the office.
She was overwhelmingly reelected to a second term in
Born and raised in the East Bay, Kamala is the
daughter of Shyamala Gopalan, a Tamilian breast cancer
specialist who traveled to the United States from Chennai, to
pursue her graduate studies at UC Berkeley.
After attending public schools, her strong commitment
to justice and public service led her to Howard University,
America`s oldest historically black university, and then to
the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Harris is the recipient of numerous awards.
California`s largest legal newspaper, The Daily
Journal, designated Harris as one of the top 75 women
litigators in California ? the only elected official to
receive that honour ? as well as one of the top 100 lawyers in
She was recognised as a "Woman of Power" by the
National Urban League and received the Thurgood Marshall Award
from the National Black Prosecutors Association.
She has been featured on the Oprah Show and in
Newsweek as one of "America`s 20 Most Powerful Women." She was
selected as one of 24 elected leaders from throughout the
country to serve as a Rodel Fellow with the Aspen Institute.
Additionally, Harris was elected to the Board of
Directors of the California District Attorneys Association and
is a Vice President of the National District Attorney`s