California Senator Kamala Harris (D) is heading to Florida in a few weeks, ostensibly to help her Florida colleague Sen. Bill Nelson (D) fundraise for his 2018 campaign, but the real purpose likely lies a little further down the electoral road: the 2020 presidential race.

As the Sacramento Bee reported, Harris will be the guest of honor at a fundraising lunch for Nelson on November 3rd in Jacksonville, followed by additional fundraisers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

This follows similar fundraisers she attended recently in support of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), as well as one planned later this month for Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Helping her Democratic colleagues in key battleground states helps pave her way to the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. As the Bee noted, Harris has “increasingly become one of the party’s ascendent ambassadors as her national profile has grown” and these fundraising appearances “allow her to meet and forge relationships with Democratic players, including influential donors and party leaders.”

Nelson is lucky to have her help. So far, she’s raised about half a million dollars online for other Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2018. Most of that came from small donors — the average donation was only $18 — meaning that Harris is building a large national email list, a valuable asset for a presidential campaign.

Harris hasn’t officially declared her intentions for 2020 yet. In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), himself a candidate for California Governor in 2018, said that he definitely expected Harris to run for president.

“She’s going to be knocking on doors in Iowa, I expect,” said Villaraigosa, referring to the Iowa caucuses, the first step in the presidential nomination contests.

Photo by aSILVA via Flickr.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.