Respect Equality

Joe Biden selects Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate, making history

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), hugs presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden after introducing him at a campaign rally at Renaissance High School on March 09, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.  Scott Olson/Getty Images

Story at a glance

  • Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has finally made his long-awaited VP pick: California Senator, Kamala Harris.
  • Biden’s search committee has been pouring over records and conducting interviews for months, which led to an increasing amount of national speculation over who Biden would select as his running mate.
  • The two politicians will formally accept their nominations during the Democratic convention, to be held virtually next week.

Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he had chosen Kamala Harris, a prominent senator from California, to be his running mate for the upcoming 2020 election ballot. 

The decision marks a historic moment in the gender and racial equality movement, as Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, will soon be the first Black woman to run on a major political party’s presidential ticket. If elected, she would also be the nation’s first female, first Black and first Asian American vice president. Not a stranger to superlatives, Harris is also the only Black woman in the U.S. Senate, a title she earned after being elected in 2016 following her role as California’s attorney general.

“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 wrote in an email to his supporters on Tuesday afternoon. 

Harris has long been speculated to be a top contender in the seemingly tight race to secure the coveted role of Biden’s running mate, but some doubted she would be picked due to notable clashes the senator had with the former vice president on the debate floor late last year. 

Biden has previously said that he is “a bridge” to a new slate of Democratic leaders, and now selecting Harris, who is 55, will provide the ticket with some helpful generational diversity — as Biden would be the oldest president-elect in U.S. history at 77 years of age. 

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His selection comes months after Biden now famously committed to picking a woman to join him on the Democratic ticket. The list of other potential candidates ranged from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to California U.S. Rep. Karen Bass and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who Biden supposedly called personally to inform that she hadn’t been chosen. 

None ultimately bested Harris, who, with her experience as a presidential candidate, efforts leading major law enforcement offices and impressive political track record of three election wins in California, as well as a multiracial background as the child of two immigrants, will serve to complement Biden as a symbol of a unified, changing America.