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Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Editor's Note: Harris dropped out of the race on December 3rd, 2019. Below is our original article on her candidacy.

Democrat Kamala Harris is a California senator who took office at the start of Trump's presidency and became one of the most vocal foils for Trump's political nominees during heated questioning in confirmation hearings.

Key facts:
  • Current position: California senator — 2 years served
  • Age: 54
  • Born: Oakland
  • Undergraduate: Howard University
  • Date candidacy announced: Jan. 21, 2019
  • % of votes in line with Trump, per FiveThirtyEight: 17.0%
  • Previous roles: California attorney general (2011-2017); San Francisco district attorney (2004-2011); prosecutor
Stance on key issues:
  • Green New Deal: Co-sponsor
  • Medicare for All: Co-sponsored Sen. Bernie Sanders' bill.
  • Drug prices: Would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to determine a "fair price" for drugs meeting certain conditions, per the Washington Post.
  • Marijuana legalization: Proposed federal legalization of marijuana.
  • Teacher pay: Has a plan to give the average teacher a $13,500 salary increase, costing an estimated $315 billion over 10 years.
  • Taxes: Introduced the LIFT the Middle Class Act, which Vox's Dylan Matthews explained as an expansion of the earned income tax credit. She also proposed offering tax credits to help people pay rent.
  • Abortion: Proposed requiring states that restrict abortion access to clear new reproductive health laws with the DOJ.
  • Sex work: Supports decriminalizing sex work.
  • Death penalty: Proposes ending and has previously called for a national moratorium on the death penalty.
  • Guns: Proposed a ban on importing AR-15-style assault weapons. She has suggested executive orders requiring background checks, closing the "boyfriend" loophole and allowing victims to hold gun manufacturers responsible. She also supports mandatory buybacks on assault weapons.
  • HIV: Would require private and public insurance plans to cover Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) without copays, along with any corresponding tests. The bill would include a grant program to increase access for uninsured Americans.
  • Income inequality: Proposes investing $100 billion in black homeownership to close the racial inequality gap.
  • Domestic terrorism: Would create a federal "red flag" law and background checks.
  • Climate: Wants a new "climate pollution fee" on industry, and to incorporate her "climate equity act."
  • Criminal justice: Proposed a plan to end mass incarceration, help felons reintegrate into society and increase oversight of police and prosecutors.
  • Childcare: Offered 6 months' paid family leave, childcare subsidies and free preschool for low- and moderate-income families.
  • Student debt: Proposes student loan forgiveness for those making less than $100,000 a year, free community college, making attending university debt-free and interest-free student loans.
Key criticisms:
  • Based on cases she argued and policies she enacted as California's attorney general:
    • She defended the death penalty as attorney general, despite being personally against it.
    • She didn't take a position on Proposition 47, approved by voters, that reduced some felonies to misdemeanors.
    • Opposed a bill that would have required her office to investigate police shootings.
1 fun thing:
  • She is the first senator of Jamaican or Indian ancestry.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the other 2020 candidates

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Texas governor: "All hostages are out alive and safe"

SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Photo: Andy Jacobsohn/AFP via Getty Images

All four hostages have been safely released after a day-long standoff at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said on Saturday night.

The latest: "Around 9 p.m., the HRT — hostage rescue team — breached the synagogue, they rescued the three [remaining] hostages, the suspect is deceased," said police chief Michael Miller of Colleyville, located roughly 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth. The other hostage had been released earlier Saturday.

The new normal: Google searches reveal America's COVID shopping habits

Data: The New Normal; Google Trends; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

As the pandemic enters its third year, some of America's COVID-era shopping habits — including strong demand for tequila and sweatpants — are here to stay.

Driving the news: Axios worked with Google Trends and the Schema Design firm to create The New Normal, which analyzes the products Americans have Googled since 2020. Items with a lasting increase in search interest help fill in the details of what our "new normal" looks like.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: You can start ordering free COVID tests Wednesday — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy — Biden deploying military medical staff to help overwhelmed hospitals.
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— Nurses across the U.S. strike against COVID working conditions— CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: Biden admin threatens to take back Arizona's COVID aid over anti-mask rules — Students across U.S. walkout of classes to demand safer COVID protocols — West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker