A wide-open, high-stakes and high-dollar race likely awaits in the race to replace Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate in 2016.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris essentially kicked off the contest when the prominent Democrat announced her candidacy on Tuesday.
Harris’ decision appears designed to discourage potential challengers and give her a head start on fundraising.
Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, another Democrat, said he planned to decide shortly if he would become a candidate. Meanwhile, another prominent Democrat, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was consulting with advisers in preparation for a possible run.
Political analyst Allan Hoffenblum says Harris remains relatively unknown in parts of California, and he expects someone from the Hispanic community and the business sector to seek the office.