Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown admitted that he had an extramarital affair with Kamala Harris 20 years ago, and also said he helped to launch the career of the 2020 presidential candidate.
In a column published on Saturday, the 84-year-old Brown confirmed rumors that he and Harris had a previous relationship, which took place while Brown was still married. Brown also claimed that it was his help that helped kick-start Harris’s career, which would later lead to her becoming the state attorney general and eventually, a senator.
“Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was [California] Assembly speaker. And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco,” Brown wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle.
In the column, Brown said that the relationship wasn’t a big deal and added that he helped shape the careers of a number of other prominent politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He added that Harris still maintained political independence, even with their past relationship and the help Brown provided to her career.
“The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I ‘so much as jaywalked’ while she was D.A.,” Brown wrote.
The revelation comes just as Kamala Harris is kicking off her 2020 presidential campaign as one of the front-runners in what is shaping up to be a crowded Democratic field. While Harris has failed to crack the top three in most early polls, columnist Myra Adams said she believes Harris has everything it takes to win the nomination.
As Adams wrote in Real Clear Politics, she believes that Harris has an advantage because she is a woman of mixed race, helping her with two of the most key demographics needed to win the Democratic primary. She also believes that Barack Obama will help Harris with her campaign and that she would be a difficult candidate for Donald Trump to directly attack.
“If I am correct in believing that Harris is likely to win the nomination, how and when will Trump personally attack her? The fact that she is a non-white woman representing the nation’s largest state, Trump’s every word and tweet will be analyzed and scrutinized from the perspective of race and gender,” Adams wrote.
Kamala Harris did not respond to the allegations from Willie Brown that the two had an affair.