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Here's where Kamala Harris stands on some key Florida issues

Democrats hope Harris will motivate voters.

TAMPA, Fla. — With Kamala Harris now officially on the ballot as Joe Biden‘s running mate, we wanted to take a closer look at her position on some issues important to Florida, and whether Harris joining the Democratic ticket could affect voter turnout in our pivotal state.


Florida and Puerto Rico have been scarred by recent hurricanes, which Harris attributes to climate change. She supports policies to address it and increased funding in communities hardest hit. The state’s biggest disaster, and as a result – economic challenge - has been COVID-19. Florida Unemployment benefits are among the nation’s lowest.

10 Tampa Bay Political Expert Lars Hafner says Harris has pushed for $600/wk unemployment benefits.

“I think also her advocating more for the unemployed and the stimulus checks to be sent out will help her here in Florida,” said Hafner.


Harris has backed off her earlier stance on Medicare for all but favors expanding the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. She also supports prescription drug pricing reform. She’s promised seniors, who make up a huge part of Florida’s electorate, that Social Security and Medicare would be preserved.


When it comes to criminal justice, Harris has said she supports restoring Felon voting rights, which has been a big topic in Florida. She also supports a more moderate policy of reforming - not defunding police. That’s a position, says Hafner, less likely to alienate some conservatives.

“Again, because she comes from the middle lane as opposed to the far-left lane,” said Hafner. “She has the credentials of being a prosecutor and an attorney general and a U.S. senator.”

Still, for all of these issues, and where she stands on them, Hafner says the key to having Harris on the ticket is that she is a biracial woman, with Jamaican and Indian roots, who Democrats hope will motivate voters who turned out in record numbers for Obama in 2012, but not in 2016.

“I think that was part of the motive in bringing her on the ticket,” said Hafner. “Because she won’t do any harm to him in Florida, and she may give them an energy boost that will get the level of diversity to the polls that elect the Biden Harris ticket.”

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