Kamala Harris Makes History With VP Nomination

“Black women and women of color have long been underrepresented in elected office and in November we have an opportunity to change that. Let’s get to work,” Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted Thursday afternoon in response to a news story about a record number of women of color running for the House and Senate this year.

Hours later, she was announced as Joe Biden’s vice presidential nominee.

Even ahead of November’s election, Harris has made history multiple times over: the third-ever female VP nominee for a major party, the second Black candidate in history and first Black woman in history on a major party presidential ticket. Should she be elected, Harris will become the first-ever woman elected to one of the top two offices of the executive branch.

Harris follows Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin’s VP runs in 1984 and 2008, respectively. Of course, the first Black candidate to get a major party’s nomination was former President Barack Obama. (Candidates such as Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson and Harris herself previously ran but failed to become the major party nominee.)

In terms of being both Black and a woman, Harris is singular, and her selection comes amid our national reckoning on race.

The daughter of immigrants — her mother from India and her father from Jamaica — Harris was born in Oakland, California, and has in the past defined herself as simply “an American.” (She also makes history as the first Asian American woman on a major party ticket.)

Rep. Val Demings, who had also been shortlisted for the VP position, said in a statement, “To see a Black woman nominated for the first time reaffirms my faith that in America, there is a place for every person to succeed no matter who they are or where they come from.”

In announcing Harris as his running mate, Biden called her “a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.” Former President Obama, meanwhile, said Biden “nailed this decision.”

“Her own life story is one that I and so many others can see ourselves in: a story that says that no matter where you come from, what you look like, how you worship, or who you love, there’s a place for you here,” Obama wrote. “It’s a fundamentally American perspective, one that’s led us out of the hardest of times before.”

Election Day is Nov. 3, 2020 — head over to Vote.org to register to vote and to get all the latest information.

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