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Biden to announce VP selection panel by May 1

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE said he plans to announce the members of a selection committee who will help choose his running mate by May 1 as speculation continues to mount over his vice presidential pick.

“We’re going to probably be announcing the setting up of that committee, which we’re doing now, between the people who have agreed to serve on it, and we will be announcing the formation of that I assume by May 1 we’ll have that done,” he said on “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” which aired the episode early Wednesday morning.

Biden added that the committee will likely take until July to narrow the hunt for a vice president down to the top three contenders. 

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Announcing his selection committee would officially launch Biden’s search for a running mate, though speculation has already exploded as to who he could pick after he vowed to select a woman for the role.

Much focus has been paid as to whether Biden, a centrist, would tap a progressive to try to unite the two factions of the Democratic Party or whether he would prioritize a running mate who hails from the Midwest, a region where Democrats are looking to regain ground after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE’s surprise victories in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in 2016.

The former vice president is also under pressure from some of his supporters to pick a black woman to recognize the important role African American voters have played in buoying his White House bid.

“The first, the most important quality is someone who, if I walked away immediately from the office for whatever reason, that they can be president,” Biden said, adding that it is important that he and his running mate be “intellectually simpatico.” 

Among the most frequent lawmakers who have been floated as potential running mates are Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTrump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally Overnight Defense: US, Russia closer on nuclear treaty extension after Moscow accepts warhead freeze | Khashoggi's fiancee sues Saudi crown prince | Biden nets hundreds more national security endorsements Democrats make gains in Georgia Senate races: poll MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDurbin signals he isn't interested in chairing Judiciary Committee Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing MORE (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenJustice Department charges Google with illegally maintaining search monopoly Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing MORE (D-Mass.), all former 2020 candidates, as well as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Several of them have already joined Biden’s campaign or are openly campaigning for the job: Klobuchar and Whitmer have both endorsed Biden and appeared on his podcast, Warren sent a fundraising email to her hefty list of supporters on his behalf, Harris appeared at a virtual fundraiser with Biden this month and Abrams has said she would be an “excellent running mate.”