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Biden picks Kamala Harris for running mate

The selection makes her the third woman in U.S. history to be on a major party presidential ticket.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.
Sen. Kamala Harris has been chosen to be Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s vice president.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced on Tuesday he picked Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate.

He made the announcement in a text message to supporters. He said, “together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump.” Biden and Harris will appear together on Wednesday in Wilmington, Del.

Biden’s choice of Harris, the junior senator from California, who dropped her 2020 primary presidential bid after she failed, marks the first time a Black woman has been on a major party vice presidential ticket.

The pick of Harris makes her the third woman in U.S. history to be a major party running mate with then Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin selected by Republican John McCain in 2008 and then Rep. Geraldine Ferraro tapped by then Vice President Walter Mondale in 1984.

The pick amounts to the most significant choice Biden has confronted in his nearly five-decade political career. Biden, at a March Democratic primary debate, pledged, “I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a woman to be vice president.”

Harris became the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history in 2017. She serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget. Prior to her election to the U.S. Senate, Harris served two terms as the District Attorney of San Francisco and was later elected as the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s Attorney General.

Biden’s vetting committee had conversations with a larger group of women earlier this spring; those continuing on in the process were asked in June to turn over financial records, past writings and other documentation.

Former Jill Biden chief of staff Sheila Nix, an Oak Park resident, will be a senior adviser to the team the Joe Biden campaign put together to staff his soon-to-be-announced vice presidential pick. Nix has been a leader in the Illinois Biden campaign and has long ties to Joe and Jill Biden.