Kamala Harris is the current attorney general of California.
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By Tessa Berenson
January 13, 2015

Kamala Harris will launch her campaign Tuesday for the Senate seat from California, making her the first candidate in a large potential pool to officially step forward to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer. (California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that he won’t be running.)

Here are 7 important things to know about the current Attorney General of California:

1. As the daughter of an African-American father and an Indian mother, Harris is the first female, first African-American and first Asian-American Attorney General in California’s history.

2. President Obama once called her “the best-looking attorney-general in the country” – and was then forced to apologize for being sexist.

3. When she worked in the Alameda County District Attorney’s office for eight years after law school, Harris specialized in prosecuting child sexual assault cases.

4. She got her undergraduate degree from Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C.

5. She worked on Jesse Jackson’s campaign for President in the 1980s and had a “Jesse Jackson For President” bumper sticker on her car.

6. She was floated as a possible Supreme Court nominee if another seat opened up during Obama’s time in office.

7. Her name means “lotus flower” in Sanskrit.

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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