Maya Harris: Her Sister’s Keeper

Maya Harris attends the Women's Media Center 2017 Women's Media Awards at Capitale on October 26, 2017 in New York City. (Getty Images)

Maya Harris has been deeply involved in her sister Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, from fundraising and hiring to meeting with politicians on the campaign trail.

It would seem like the California senator has placed her sister at the heart of her campaign. And this was evident recently, as Politico reported, when the younger Harris was the featured guest at fundraisers for her candidate sister in New York and Connecticut. The older Harris wasn’t even present. At the fundraisers, according to Politico, Maya Harris courted New York’s African-American and Indian-American communities. She has also reportedly traveled to Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia ahead of her sister’s visit to those states.

But apart from managing her sister’s presidential campaign, Maya Harris is her own star. She served as a senior policy advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and was a regular talking head on MSNBC. Neera Tanden, her former boss at the Center for American Progress, describes her as being a “very day-to-day” person. “She’s kind of running everything,” Tanden said.

Similarly, many speculate that as her campaign chair, Maya Harris “will have to reprise her role as the defender on the left for her sister, especially with critics who argue she isn’t the ‘progressive prosecutor’ that she claims to be.” Meanwhile, Maya Harris is not the only family member Kamala Harris is relying on. Inputs also come from her husband, Doug Emhoff, and Maya Harris’ spouse, Tony West, chief legal officer at Uber.

As Kamala Harris told Politico, “Family members — if used right — can play a big role.

“It’s a matter of utilizing them strategically and in spots where it makes the most sense — and not as the center-point of campaign strategy.”

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