Capitol Alert

Kamala Harris opens 2026 committee for governor; stays focused on U.S. Senate – maybe more

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is taking a different route to store state campaign cash she is unable to use for the federal office she now holds.

Rather than starting a committee for lieutenant governor, like many others who need a place to hold campaign funds, the rising Democrat has chosen the only other statewide office she would conceivably consider in the future: California governor.

Harris opened a 2026 gubernatorial committee on Thursday, shifting just over $1 million that’s banked in her 2014 committee for attorney general. The committees candidates use to raise money for state and federal government are separate and operate under vastly different rules regarding how much can be raised, who can donate and how the money can be spent.

Harris strategist Sean Clegg said to keep the money raised under state rules, Harris had to designate a future state office. She has no plans to raise money into the 2026 gubernatorial account, he said, which has a far higher contribution limit than other statewide posts.

Clegg also stressed the move should not be viewed as an indication of her plans. Harris is on a growing number of short lists to challenge for president in 2020.

“Kamala Harris is 100 percent focused on serving California in the U.S. Senate,” he said.

Put another way, she has no plans to run for lieutenant governor of California.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago