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'I Am Not A Billionaire'; Sen. Kamala Harris Drops Out Of Presidential Race

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Sen. Kamala Harris, who began her rise to political prominence as San Francisco's district attorney, has decided to end her cash-strapped campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

In an online message to Bay Area voters, Harris cited her campaign's financial woes.

"Eleven months ago at the launch of our campaign in Oakland I told you all: 'I am not perfect. But I will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. I will speak the truth.'

"And that's what I have tried to do every day of this campaign. So here's the truth today," she said in the message.

"I've taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life," she continued. "My campaign for president simply doesn't have the financial resources we need to continue," Harris said. "I'm not a billionaire. I can't fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it's become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete."

But she added that she may no longer be a candidate, but she would continue to push for the causes near and dear to her heart in the Senate and during the election process.

"So, to you my supporters, it is with deep regret -- but also with deep gratitude -- that I am suspending my campaign today," she wrote. "But I want to be clear with you: I am still very much in this fight. And I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for The People. All the people. "
Following the announcement Harris' husband Douglas Emhoff tweeted a note of support for his wife.

Harris raised an impressive $12 million in the first three months of her campaign and quickly locked down major endorsements meant to show her dominance in her home state, which offers the biggest delegate haul in the Democratic primary contest.

But as the field grew, Harris's fundraising remained flat; she was unable to attract the type of attention being showered on Pete Buttigieg by traditional donors or the grassroots firepower that drove tens of millions of dollars to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

"She just doesn't seem to be able to articulate a clear vision for why she should be president," said KPIX Political Analyst Melissa Caen.

Harris suffered from what allies and critics viewed as an inconsistent message. Her slogan "for the people," referenced her career as a prosecutor, a record the campaign struggled to pitch to the party's most progressive voters.

Through the summer, she focused on pocketbook issues and her "3 a.m. agenda," a message that never seemed to resonate with voters. By the fall, she had returned to her courtroom roots with the refrain that "justice is on the ballot," both a cry for economic and social justice as well as her call that she could "prosecute the case" against a "criminal" president.

"Once you become a superstar with a hit, everybody expects the second time out there will be a second hit. But that's not always the case," said former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

In early November, Harris cut all of her field organizers in New Hampshire and shuttered her field offices there in order to focus her efforts in Iowa. At the time, she told CBS News she was "all in" on winning the Iowa caucuses and predicted she would "do very well" in the first contest of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Before the November debate, Harris had 131 staffers and 17 field offices in the state, and had spent 45 days in Iowa, and she had even spent Thanksgiving in Iowa with her family.

Harris is the second member of Congress from the Bay Area to leave the Democratic presidential primary contest. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, announced in July he was also dropping out of the race.

At her campaign office in Oakland, there was lingering disappointment among volunteers that her campaign had come to an end.

"We're all professionals -- enthusiastic professionals. And we happen to have a sterling candidate. So, there's no misgivings about why we're here. We're here because we love and believe she could lead the country," said supporter Daniel Harrington.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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