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Kamala Harris Gets Big Boost From Longtime Hillary Clinton Supporter

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Susie Tompkins Buell, one of the most prolific Democratic fundraisers in the nation, has endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris for President in the 2020 election.

A longtime Hillary Clinton friend and supporter, Buell says she's confident Hillary is not running for President in 2020.

Buell attended Harris' campaign kickoff in Oakland on January 21, 2019.

"It was just so obvious," Buell said of the event. "I just realized that she was the right person for right now."

Buell says Harris has a unique combination of ferocity and joy that the nation needs, and she's not worried about declaring before all the candidates have declared.

"Nobody can change my mind. Because I'm somebody that, once they make up their mind, I'm just so behind it," said Buell

Buell's friendship with the Clinton's spans decades. Her first large campaign contribution was to Bill Clinton. Later, she raised money for Hillary Clinton's Presidential runs in 2008 and in 2016. She brought in $6 million for the 2016 effort.

"Hillary's not gonna run again," said Buell. "I have not heard those words from her, but I know her and I know she's got lots of plans. She's been somewhat dormant, but she's working very, very diligently behind the scenes, figuring out what she can do to help our democracy. To restore this country. But running for president is not in the plan."

Susie and her husband Mark Buell have also known Harris for many years. Mark was he finance chairman for Harris' first election when she became the San Francisco District Attorney in 2003. He helped her raise a million dollars; at the time, an unheard of amount for a local race.

Harris unseated a longtime incumbent, Terence Hallinan.

"I was initially not optimistic," said Mark Buell. "But as I watched her campaign and got to know her politically and how she thought and approached things, I became convinced she could do it. And she proved me right."

Susie Tompkins Buell says this is a special moment in history and Harris is the right fit.

"Do you know what he name 'Kamala' means? It means 'lotus blossom'. And lotus blossoms only bloom in muddy, dirty, contaminated water. And we are in very muddy times," said Buell.

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