By Frederick H. Lowe
California Attorney General Kamala Harris moved a step closer to becoming the second black woman to take a seat in the U.S. Senate after Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois.
Harris led all candidates in Tuesday’s primary, including U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who finished second in the contest. Sanchez, who is Hispanic, would become the first Latina in the U.S. Senate if she wins.
No matter who wins the fall election, the Golden State will be represented by two women in the U.S. Senate as it has been for years. A significant difference is that neither Harris nor Sanchez are white.
The two decided to run after Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) announced her retirement. Sen. Diane Feinstein, also a Democrat, has been in office since 1992.
Both Harris and Sanchez are Democrats. No Republican will be on ballot this fall in the race for the U.S. Senate.
Moseley Braun served in the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 1999 when she was defeated for re-election.
If Harris, who is backed by California Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), makes it to the U.S. Senate, she will join African-American Senators Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina. The U.S. Senate has 100 members.