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In 2016, Kamala Harris, California's attorney general, will seek the first open Senate seat in the state since 1992.

Last week, Sen. Barbara Boxer announced her retirement in a video interview with her grandson, prompting speculation about which Democrats would run for her seat. The idea of Harris facing off against California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was floated, but on Monday, Newsom announced via Facebook post that he would not run. Other potential candidates include Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, and Tom Steyer, a wealthy environmental activist.

"I'm excited to share with you that I'm launching my campaign to represent the people of California in the United States Senate," Harris wrote on her newly launched campaign website. "I will be a fighter for middle-class families who are feeling the pinch of stagnant wages and diminishing opportunity. I will be a fighter for our children who deserve a world-class education, and for students burdened by predatory lenders and skyrocketing tuition. And I will fight relentlessly to protect our coast, our immigrant communities, and our seniors."

Harris is a rising star in the Democratic Party, among other progressives such as Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio. After Harris announced her campaign Tuesday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly lined up behind her, saying it will "continue to monitor the California Senate race closely."

As EMILY's List pointed out, Harris's career has already entailed lots of firsts:

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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