Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown criticized Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and her presidential campaign on Sunday for ignoring her home state of California in favor of campaigning in early primary states.
“It is a difficult task for her because she has not concentrated at all on California,” Brown said while appearing on CBS SF Bay Area. “Whoever is managing her campaign, in my opinion, will not do it the way that it should have been done.”
“Clearly, you have ought to develop the ability to be the favorite son or daughter in the state from which you come,” he continued. “Which is the way that it was in the olden times when we were selecting people.”
Brown’s remarks come roughly a week after new polls reveal that the California senator has drastically lost support in her own home state. A poll of likely primary voters commissioned by KQED found that Harris slipped into fourth place in the presidential race behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Golden State, receiving only 11% support.
Days later, Emerson released a separate poll that placed Harris in fifth place, slipping even farther behind entrepreneur Andrew Yang and receiving only 6% of the vote.
“Senator Kamala Harris is in trouble in her home state,” Emerson Polling Director Spencer Kimball said of the poll. “If she is unable to gain momentum in Iowa or New Hampshire, come Super Tuesday she might have a similar fate to Senator Marco Rubio in 2016 when he was unable to win his home state of Florida and dropped out of the race.”
“She needed to concentrate on [sic] that incredible send off that she got in the announcement time back in February in Oakland,” Brown continued. “It was dramatic, clearly, and three or four continuous visits here would have placed her at the top of the food chain.”
Harris kicked off her presidential campaign to a reported crowd of more than 20,000 supporters. The launch was one of the most widely attended events for any 2020 Democratic presidential contender to date.
“Ignoring California, not deliberately, but doing all you can to be known in other places, causes you not to be doing things at home,” Brown added.
Harris and the former San Francisco mayor notably had an extra-marital affair more than two decades ago, which helped to launch the Democratic lawmaker’s own political career.
When Harris was 30 years old, she dated Brown, who is three decades her senior. At the time, Brown was serving as the Democratic speaker of the California Assembly and appointed her to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and later to the the California Medical Assistance Commission.
While both positions were considered to be powerful and high-paying positions in the state, the latter has been criticized as “a landing spot for patronage jobs and kickbacks,” according to The Washington Examiner.