Biden announces Kamala Harris as 2020 running mate in US presidential race

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Yesterday, Joe Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee for President of the United States, announced Kamala Harris as his choice for running mate in the 2020 United States presidential election.

Harris in 2017
Image: United States Senate.

Biden wrote that "I've decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021".

Harris, a sitting U.S. Senator from California, is the former Attorney General of California as well as a one of Biden's former rivals for the Democratic Party's nomination. She also previously served as the district attorney for the city of San Francisco.

In March, at the Democratic Party's final presidential debate, Biden announced his plan to choose a woman to be his running mate, saying "I commit that I will in fact pick a woman to be vice president". A tweet sent from Biden's Twitter account during the debate repeated Biden's commitment, saying "My running mate will be a woman. #DemDebate".

If elected, Harris would be the first woman to serve as Vice President of the United States. She would be the third woman to be a major US political party's vice presidential nominee. In 2008, then-governor of Alaska Sarah Palin was chosen by John McCain as his running mate, making her the Republican Party's first female candidate for Vice President.

In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was Walter Mondale's running mate on the Democratic Party ticket, making Ferraro the Democratic Party's first female candidate for Vice President and Harris the party's second. Eight years earlier, at the 1972 Democratic National Convention, Gloria Steinem received 400 votes for the party's vice presidential nomination, coming in second.

Biden himself served eight years as vice president from 2009 to 2017, under Barack Obama's administration.