'I'm not a billionaire': Harris cites fundraising as she drops out of 2020 race

WASHINGTON — California Sen. Kamala Harris announced Tuesday that she is ending her bid for the presidency.

In an email sent to supporters, Harris said she had difficulties creating a “path forward.” She also posted the message on her personal Medium page and uploaded a video to YouTube.

“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete,” it read.

She stressed that even though she’s no longer a formal part of the election process, she’ll still be involved in removing President Trump from office. The missive also touched on her perspective as the only black woman vying for the Democratic nomination — a perspective that some campaign officials believed the media took for granted.

“And our campaign uniquely spoke to the experiences of Black women and people of color — and their importance to the success and future of this party. Our campaign demanded no one should be taken for granted by any political party.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker are the only other major black candidates.

Kamala Harris
Sen. Kamala Harris. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP)

Harris’s exit comes only a few days after reports of internal turmoil, displeasure with top campaign management and a struggle to secure necessary funds. Several reports indicated frustration with her campaign manager, Juan Rodriguez.

A few months ago, barreling off the high of successful debate performances, Harris moved to focus her campaigning in Iowa, the first caucus state. But the strategy didn’t pay off: She couldn’t break into the double digits in many influential state polls, lagged with black supporters, never made massive ad buys and often faced criticism for her record as a prosecutor. And compared with the deep pockets of billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, Harris’s campaign was cash-poor.

A campaign aide confirmed to Yahoo News that Harris informed her staffers Tuesday afternoon and is traveling to campaign offices to address staff and volunteers in person.

Several current and former candidates voiced their support on Twitter. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wrote on Twitter that Harris is a “friend and a fearless champion for justice and the issues she cares so deeply about.” South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigeig said Harris “has spent her career advocating for the voiceless and the vulnerable.” Former Vice President Joe Biden told reporters that she is a “rare intellect” and a “solid, solid person.”

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