POLITICS
01/14/2015 03:24 pm ET Updated Jan 14, 2015

Elizabeth Warren Backs Kamala Harris In California Senate Race

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is backing California Attorney General Kamala Harris in the 2016 race for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat.

"Kamala Harris is a smart, tough, and experienced prosecutor who has consistently stood up to Wall Street," Warren wrote in a Wednesday email to supporters. "Yesterday, she announced her candidacy for the United States Senate, and I'm happy to support her campaign."

Harris, who was elected to a second term as attorney general in November, is the first candidate to officially jump in the race. Several other California Democrats have expressed interest in the seat, including Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Xavier Becerra, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer. It is the first time since 1992 that California has had an open Senate seat.

In her email, Warren praised Harris' work following the subprime mortgage crisis, highlighting her work on the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, which extended mortgage and foreclosure protections.

"Harris demanded real accountability from the lenders," Warren wrote. "She wasn’t intimidated by the big banks. When the negotiations in the National Mortgage Settlement weren’t tough enough on the banks, Kamala took a bold move. She said that her job was to protect the people of California, not help the big banks, so she pulled out of the group negotiations and later secured $20 billion in relief for struggling California homeowners."

Harris campaigned for Warren during her 2012 race against Republican Scott Brown.

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