Joe Biden chose Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate Tuesday, betting that her ties to the African-American community and self-branding as a “progressive prosecutor” will help propel him to the White House.
Harris, 55, who ran against Biden in the Democratic presidential primaries, becomes the first Black woman and first Asian-American on a major party presidential ticket. Known as an aggressive campaigner, the junior senator from California has won statewide elections in the most populous U.S. state three times. She built her early career as district attorney of San Francisco and later California attorney general.
“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden tweeted.
Harris tweeted her own response, pledging to help Biden defeat President Donald Trump.
“@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief,” she said.
The Democratic nominee announced the selection six days ahead of the party’s convention, which begins August 17.
The two candidates will appear together in a virtual fundraiser on Wednesday and at events in Delaware in the coming week. Harris will face Vice President Mike Pence in a October 7 debate scheduled to be at the University of Utah.
Biden made his decision based on his own eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president. He often said he hoped to choose a running mate with whom he’d be compatible and shares values, even if she came from a very different background than his.
Harris knew Biden’s son Beau when he was attorney general of Delaware and Harris held the same job in California. Biden was also impressed by her work on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the campaign said.