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Clyburn: 'Not a must' for Biden to pick a black woman as running mate

Clyburn: 'Not a must' for Biden to pick a black woman as running mate
© Greg Nash

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), one of Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Five things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs MORE’s most prominent backers, said it is “not a must” for the former vice president to pick a black woman as his running mate.

“I think having a woman on the ticket is a must,” Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, said in an interview with NBC News. “I’m among those who feel that it would be great for him to select a woman of color. But that is not a must.”

“I think that he should be informed in this decision by the vetting and the polling. And I think he should be guided by his head and his heart,” Clyburn added. 

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Clyburn has previously suggested Biden pick an African American woman to join him on the ticket as a “reward” for black women's loyalty to the Democratic Party. 

Biden vowed at a debate last month to choose a woman as his vice presidential pick. Since Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden announces all-female White House communications team The 'diploma divide' in American politics Bernie Sanders should opt for a government-created vaccine from China or Russia MORE (I-Vt.) dropped out of the race, leaving Biden as the only remaining Democratic candidate, debate has raged among his supporters over whether his running mate should be black in a nod to the way African American voters have buoyed his White House bid.

Among the contenders Biden is thought to be considering are Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden announces all-female White House communications team Biden to nominate Neera Tanden, Cecilia Rouse to economic team: WSJ Memo to Biden: Go big — use the moment to not only rebuild but to rebuild differently MORE (D-Calif.), both of whom are black. 

Abrams has been actively campaigning for the job, saying she would be an “excellent” addition to the ticket.

The Biden campaign is expected to announce in the coming days the members of a committee that will help narrow down the search for a running mate.

The former vice president said last week it’s “very important that my administration look like the nation,” but has said his priority is picking someone with whom he is “simpatico.”