Obama, Biden pick a side in California Senate race

Story highlights

  • President Barack Obama and Joe Biden are backing Kamala Harris for Senate
  • The state AG is facing a fellow Democrat, Rep. Loretta Sanchez

Washington (CNN)The nation's two top elected Democrats have taken sides in California's contentious US Senate race, the only contest for a seat in that chamber pitting two Democrats against each other in the general election.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday they were supporting state Attorney General Kamala Harris in her bid for the seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Barbara Boxer.
    Harris is competing against a fellow Democrat for the seat. Under California rules, the two top vote-getters in preliminary contests advance to the general election in November. This year, Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez garnered the most votes, meaning no Republican is on the ballot.
    In a statement released by Harris' campaign, Obama praised Harris' work for the Golden State.
    "Kamala is a lifelong courtroom prosecutor with only one client: the people of the State of California. That's the approach she'll take to the United States Senate," Obama said. "Kamala's experience has taught her that if you're going to give everybody a fair shot, you've got to take on the special interests that too often stand in the way of progress."
    Biden said he'd gotten to know Harris through his late son Beau, who served as Delaware's attorney general ahead of his death in 2015.
    Obama got himself in some hot water in 2013 when he told a group of Democratic donors that Harris "happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general in the country."
    Later he phoned Harris to apologize.