Warren defies Native American row to enter White House race

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Senator Elizabeth Warren has become the latest Democrat to formally say she is running for the US presidency.

The 69-year-old politician – one of the party’s most recognisable faces – had formed an exploratory committee on New Year’s Eve into a possible bid to win the Democrat nomination.

She is hoping her pledge to fight economic inequality will help distinguish her in an already crowded field.

She officially announced she was joining the 2020 White House race at a mill site in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where immigrant factory workers went on strike about 100 years ago.

In a video, Ms Warren cited Lawrence’s “history of working people coming together to make change, where the fight was hard, the battle was uphill, and where a group of women led the charge for all of us”.

The campaign launch comes at a challenging moment for the politician.

She has twice apologised in the last fortnight for claiming Native American heritage on multiple occasions early in her career.

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This has provided ammunition to her Republican rivals, including President Donald Trump.

Under her plans, Ms Warren has proposed a wealth tax, imposed annually on “ultra-millionaires”. Fortunes over $50m (£38m) would be taxed at 2% and billionaires would pay 3% – reportedly raising $2.75trn (£2.12trn) over 10 years.

Image: Senator Kamala Harris is one of the current favourites for the Democrat nomination

The current frontrunners for the Democrat nomination, according to bookmakers, include California senator Kamala Harris, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and former US vice-president Joe Biden.

Mr O’Rourke and Mr Biden have not yet announced whether they will run for 2020.

In the latest betting, Ms Warren is behind all three as well as Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who lost to Hillary Clinton in the previous Democrat campaign. He is still undeclared.

Ms Warren has spent the past decade in the national spotlight, including as a consumer activist during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

She later headed the congressional panel that oversaw the financial bailout.

After Republicans blocked her from running the consumer financial protection bureau, an agency she helped create, she ran for the senate in 2012 and unseated a GOP incumbent.

She has $11m (£8.5m) left over from her big 2018 senate re-election victory that can be used on her presidential run.

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