Kamala Harris and African-American Supporters

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When Sen. Kamala Harris entered the presidential race in January, her California roots were supposed to give her special access to the cash and delegates required to win the Democratic nomination. Instead, she faced headwinds in her home state that would become a microcosm for the trouble that ultimately forced her sudden departure from the contest. One by one, politically active celebrities lined up behind Harris’ rivals, such as Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. Many of the state’s energized progressive activists lent their passion and small-dollar donations to Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont or Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. And those who weren’t yet paying close attention to the 2020 race — and there were many in a state of nearly 40 million people — gravitated to the name they knew best: former Vice President Joe Biden. A quiet but significant turning point came in late March, when prominent California donor Susie Tompkins Buell, who had backed Harris, began supporting Buttigieg as well. “When she started lending her name to other candidates, I think that was the first sign of trouble that things were not well,” said veteran California Democratic strategist Rose Kapolczynski. Harris told staff and supporters on Tuesday that she simply didn’t have the money to stay in the race. She ended her first White House bid before more than a dozen of her rivals despite being a political superstar in a state with the most convention delegates and with premier access to a donor class that…

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