GRAPEVINE, Texas - Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris was in Tarrant County Friday night to campaign.
Harris has hired some key campaign staffers with Texas ties.
She has also reached out to some Texas Democrats in Congress for support, despite two fellow Democrats from the Lone Star State running against her.
It was of little surprise Sen. Harris, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, came out of the gates during Friday’s event with some strong demands over how the Mueller report should be handled.
The California senator got a warm welcome in front of a crowd of Tarrant County Democrats.
At a forum aimed at deciding the next president, Harris first wanted to address the investigation that's been a thorn in the side of the oval office's current occupant.
“That report needs to be made public,” Harris said. “The American people have a right, and a need to know. The underlying evidence that supports that report should be made public. The Attorney General Barr should be called to testify under oath in front of the U.S. Congress.”
Among a crowded Democratic field, Harris has been one of the most vocal critics of President Donald Trump.
She showed nothing different on Friday, and defended the late Republican Senator John McCain, who has recently come under fire from President Trump.
“[McCain] represented the values and morals of who we are and pride ourselves to be,” she said.
Harris is the first 2020 candidate to visit Tarrant County.
Democrats believe the county is symbolic of Texas, which has been less reliably red in recent years.
It's partly why Democrats are making early runs at Texas.
“Now, in 2020, people see Texas as a state in which Democrats can compete,” said Cal Jillson, SMU political science professor. “Whether they can win remains to be seen.”
If Texas doesn't go red in a statewide race -- for the first time since Jimmy Carter's election -- it could be a vital state, especially for the senator from California.
“Kamala Harris is generally thought of as being in the top five or so. She's preparing to run a national campaign in which she is already strong in California. And if she can get strong, or even show well in Texas, that would make for a Super Tuesday that will put her toward the top of the list,” Jillson said.
Jillson also pointed out that once some of those initial primaries are done, some candidates might drop out, so it's hard to say what the Democratic field will look like by the Texas primary on March 3.