California Attorney General Kamala Harris made history Nov. 8, handily winning her race with a double-digit lead to become the first Indian American elected to the U.S. Senate. The Associated Press called the race shortly after 8 p.m.
The Democrat – who challenged fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez for retiring Barbara Boxer’s vacant Senate seat – is also the second African American woman to be elected to the Senate. Polls taken before election night showed Harris leading by a wide margin of 51 percent to Sanchez’s 29 percent. Harris held on to her lead and emerged victorious.
Harris raised a campaign war-chest of approximately $13 million, much of it coming from the entertainment industry. Actors Sean Penn, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, Ben Affleck, Judd Apatow, Jane Fonda and Jon Cryer were amongst the celebrities who donated the maximum amount – $2,700 – to Harris’s campaign, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Sanchez raised about $2.5 million.