Holding true to his promise to have a woman as vice president on the ticket, presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has selected U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his running mate.
Biden, 77, said Tuesday (Aug. 11) that Harris, 55, is “smart, tough and ready to lead.”
“You make a lot of important decisions as president. But the first one is who you select to be your Vice President. I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021,” Biden said in the announcement statement. “I need someone working alongside me who is smart, tough, and ready to lead. Kamala is that person. I need someone who understands the pain that so many people in our nation are suffering. Whether they’ve lost their job, their business, a loved one to this virus.”
Born in Oakland, Calif., Harris is a graduate of Howard University and University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, worked in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and in the City Attorney of San Francisco’s office. In 2003, she was elected the 27th District Attorney of San Francisco, serving until 2011.
Harris was elected Attorney General of California in 2010, and was re-elected in 2014. In November 2016, she defeated Loretta Sanchez in the 2016 Senate election to succeed outgoing U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, becoming California’s third female U.S. Senator. Harris ran for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 primary, but ended the campaign on Dec. 3 citing a lack of money.
The Biden campaign website listed the following as some of the reasons for selecting Harris.
• “Since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, Kamala has introduced and co-sponsored legislation to help the middle class, increase the minimum wage to $15, reform cash bail, and defend the legal rights of refugees and immigrants.”
• “Kamala serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that deals with the nation’s most sensitive national security and international threats. She also serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where she oversees the federal government’s response to natural disasters and emergencies, including the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19.”
• “On the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kamala has held Trump administration officials accountable and was a powerful voice against Trump’s conservative judicial nominations.”
Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, and a Democratic candidate for Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District who has been endorsed by Harris, provided this statement: “The Biden-Harris ticket is well-positioned to bring together voters of all backgrounds united for real change. I am proud to have Senator Harris’ support, and I absolutely have her back.”
Celeste Williams, the Democratic candidate for Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District, posted this statement: “Senator Harris is a fierce fighter for working families and will be a tremendous asset to the Biden Presidency. Together, they will energize voters across the country to vote blue in November and restore integrity and leadership to the White House. I look forward to serving as Arkansas‘s Third District Representative under the Biden-Harris administration.”
William Hanson, the Democratic candidate in Arkansas’ 4th Congressional District, issued this statement following Biden’s selection: “The selection of Senator Kamala Harris as the Democratic nominee for Vice-President is a great day for the country and for all women. She possesses all of the qualities and experience needed to serve. During my time in California, I had the opportunity to vote for her twice as California’s Attorney General and as California’s junior Senator. I look forward to casting my vote for her in November to be our next Vice-President.”
“We’re more than excited that Kamala Harris will be Joe Biden’s 2020 running mate, and the next Vice President of the United States,” said Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray. “She is an absolute force and her determination is inspiring. She will become the first woman elected Vice President. This is a moment to be celebrated by all Americans. And importantly, it’s a moment that puts us that much closer to closing this unfortunate chapter in the White House.”