Jamericans disappointed Kamala Harris out of US presidential raceMonday, December 16, 2019
By Harold G Bailey
New York USA — She may not have embraced or even acknowledged her Jamaican connection in ways that could have raised her profile within the Jamaican community here, but even then the withdrawal of California Senator Kamala Harris from the 2020 United States presidential race has left Jamaicans here disappointed.
Harris, born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, and the first black female attorney general for the state of California, decided to end her campaign two weeks ago, citing a lack of financial resources to continue to adequately fund her campaign.
“It's a huge disappointment,” attorney at law Wayne Golding, who heads the Diaspora Advisory Board for the southern United States, said of Harris' withdrawal in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.
He said that he “supported her candidacy” and was looking forward to her “making the type of progress” which could have eventually led to her becoming the Democratic party's nominee to face President Donald Trump in the election next year.
And former Diaspora Advisory Board member for the north-east US, Irwin Clare said that while he was “not surprised at her withdrawal”, he was disappointed that she was forced to end her campaign so soon.
He suggested that with so many candidates vying to be the candidate, the competitiveness of the race had played a serious role in her inability to raise the type of money necessary to sustain a viable campaign.
In her reaction to the senator's withdrawal from the race, Kimone Gooden, co-chair of the Diaspora Agriculture Task Force, said that not only was she disappointed, “as I was very optimistic about her chances”, but the fact that she had to end her campaign prematurely, “reflects the power of money in politics”.
Dr Rupert Francis, head of the Diaspora Task Force on crime and prevention, also expressed disappointment over the turn of events which forced senator Harris to end her campaign, arguing that she might have received “poor advice as far as her engagement, or lack of it, with the Jamaican community” is concerned. “Nonetheless, we are disappointed that she was forced to end her campaign,” said Francis.
Despite the disappointment, however, some here still believe the senator could rebound on the national scene politically.
Sadie Campbell, president of the People's National Party-affiliated Jamaica Progressive League said she was not surprised Harris had dropped out of the race “given the nature of the current political climate”. “But I am sure this is not the last we have seen of her on the national stage,” she added.
It is a view that is shared by Gooden who, along with Campbell, is of the view that Harris is “both smart and articulate”.
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