DELWARE – Former United States Vice President, Joe Biden, Tuesday named Senator Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, whose father is a Jamaican, as his running mate for the November Presidential elections.
Harris becomes the first Black woman to be named to a major-party U.S. presidential ticket, and potentially the first woman vice president if Biden defeats President Donald Trump in the elections.
The California Democrat was born in Oakland, California, to two immigrant parents: an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.
After her parent’s divorce, she was raised primarily by her Hindu single mother, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist.
“I need someone working alongside me who is smart, tough, and ready to lead. Kamala is that person,” Biden said a statement.
“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. This president says he “doesn’t want to be distracted by it”. He doesn’t understand that taking care of the people of this nation — all the people — isn’t a distraction — it’s the job. Kamala understands that.”
“I need someone who understands that we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. And that if we’re going to get through these crises — we need to come together and unite for a better America. Kamala gets that,” said Biden, who served as vice president to America’s first ever Black President, Barack Obama.
He said he first met Harris through his son Beau.
“They were both Attorneys General at the same time. He had enormous respect for her and her work. I thought a lot about that as I made this decision. There is no one’s opinion I valued more than Beau’s and I’m proud to have Kamala standing with me on this campaign.”
Harris, 55, has been a senator from California since 2017 and solidified her national profile when she grilled Trump administration nominees and administrators.
As a presidential candidate, Harris campaigned on a US$500-a-month tax credit that she called “the largest working and middle-class tax cut in a generation”.
But critics note that she defended the death penalty as attorney general, despite being personally against it and opposed a bill that would have required her office to investigate police shootings.
Harris, who will join Vice President Mike Pence on October 7 in Utah, for the first vice presidential debate of the 2020, will be closely watched when she delivers her speech accepting the nomination at the Democratic convention.