The consensus pick for the 8th annual Fox and Hounds Daily’s Black Bart Award is soon to be U.S. Senator Kamala Harris. She took the prize not only for her achievement of capturing the senate seat vacated by Barbara Boxer, setting herself up as a prime antagonist to the potential moves of the new administration, but also as a symbol.

Kamala Harris represents a changing of the guard in California politics.

Joe Mathews, in nominating Harris, noted that, “she became the first California politician of her generation to punch a hole in the Wall of the Aged — Brown, Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi — that has ruled us for far too long.” John Wildermuth simply stated that she represents the “New Democrats.” A powerful acknowledgement in a state controlled by the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future.

Harris has set herself a goal of speaking loudly for California, which veered far afield from the Trump revolution that captured the rest of the country. When she recently received her senate committee assignments on Homeland Security; Governmental Affairs Committee; the Select Committee on Intelligence; the Committee on Environment & Public Works; and the Committee on the Budget, she issued a statement saying she was now in prime position to examine–and implied to fight– proposals offered by the Trump Administration.

How successful she will be in this role remains to be seen. But, she is in place to voice the position of a majority of Californians who opposed Trump on Election Day. Or as Joe Mathews put it in his nominating piece: “In the Senate, she’ll have to do more than live up to her promises to fight for us; she’ll have to become a Jedi Knight of legislative combat, with martial arts training in Trump-stopping jujitsu.”

For capturing the senate seat in this time of change, the potential for her role in the policy debates to come, and as a symbol of California’s evolving political scene, Kamala Harris is the Black Bart Award winner for 2016.

We named the Californian of the Year Award in Politics after gentleman highwayman Black Bart, a California original. He mixed a bit of larceny, artistry, and good manners with the character to pushback when he thought the system was working against him.

Fox and Hounds Daily will now take its annual winter hibernation and begin publishing again on January 3, 2017.

Happy Holidays.