• Paul Steinhauser

2020 Vision: Harris vows ‘to compete’ in NH

Updated: Feb 24, 2019

Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks to supporters at a town hall-style forum held at the South Church Monday in Portsmouth. [John Huff/Seacoastonline and]

Sen. Kamala Harris wanted to clear the air right away.

At her first major event on her first trip to New Hampshire since launching her presidential campaign -- the Democrat from California told the crowd packed into South Church that “I just want to get this out of the way. I intend to compete in New Hampshire. I intend to spend time here. I intend to shake every hand that I possibly can. I intend to talk to you. I want to listen to you. I want to be challenged by you.”

The pledge by Harris, and a vow earlier in the day to a crowd in Concord as well as at news conference with reporters, was a concerted effort by the senator to push back on a perception that New Hampshire - which holds the first primary in the race for the White House - would be a lower priority for the candidate than the other states that also vote early in the presidential nominating calendar.

Harris - the daughter of parents from Jamaica and India - would be the first woman and second African-American to win the White House if she ultimately succeeds.

Even before her formal launch four weeks ago, the candidate headed to South Carolina, the first southern state to vote in nomination race. And she visited Iowa - which votes first - a few days later.

Iowa and South Carolina, where black voters make up a majority of the Democratic primary electorate, are likely to figure heavily into Harris’s prospects.

“I plan on competing in New Hampshire. I plan on doing very well in New Hampshire,” Harris emphasized to the crowd in Portsmouth.

Read more on Seacoastonline

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