Harris claims Iowa momentum after first Democratic debates
GRINNELL, Iowa — Two prominent Iowa Democratic activists said Friday they will back Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) after she stood out on the Democratic debate stage against higher-polling rivals.
Vergarie Sanford, minister of Mount Zion Refuge Center Church in Council Bluffs, and Tom Fisher, a Des Moines attorney, both joined Harris’s team.
“Sen. Harris is a wonderful example of strength, intelligence and grace for all women,” Sanford said in a statement. Fisher called the California Democrat a “rockstar.”
“She is a joyful warrior,” Fisher said.
Harris returns to Iowa for a three-day campaign swing next week, over the Fourth of July weekend.
Some Democratic caucusgoers will be eager to see Harris on the trail. The most common knock on Harris from activists is that she has not yet made the requisite appearances in their home towns.
“She has not been spending a lot of time in Iowa,” said Paula Smith, an associate dean at Grinnell College, who watched Thursday’s debate with area Democrats at a local brewery. Smith said she had met five of the Democratic candidates running so far, but not Harris.
Still, Harris has built an Iowa campaign team that rivals higher-polling candidates in size.
Her Iowa campaign is chaired by Deidre DeJear, who nearly became the first African American woman elected to statewide office in Iowa in 2018. The campaign is being run by Will Dubbs, a veteran of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE’s 2016 Iowa team, and claims more than 65 staffers on the ground in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
Harris’s campaign said it had raised more money on Thursday, after she clashed with former Vice President Joe Biden over his past opposition to busing and his civil rights record, than any other day during the campaign except her launch day.
“We are excited about the response we’re hearing from activists across Iowa after Senator Harris’ impressive performance last night. She clearly connected with caucus-goers on the issues that matter to them and showed she is the best candidate in the field to take on Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE,” said Miryam Lipper, Harris’s Iowa spokeswoman.
Harris spoke longer on Thursday, for 11 minutes and 37 seconds, than any candidate on the debate stage other than Biden. Though she got fewer questions than other candidates, she tended to give longer answers than her rivals; Harris gave the four longest individual answers of the night on Thursday, according to The Hill’s stopwatch.
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