On Tuesday former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden finally announced his vice presidential nominee after a highly scrutinized process.
First texting his supporters, he followed up with a Tweet, saying, “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.”
The response from political groups and figures in northern Nevada was swift.
Washoe County Democratic Party Chairwoman Sarah Mahler said the choice of Harris as a running mate demonstrated Biden’s excellent decision-making abilities.
“This is his first decision as our next president, if you ask me,” Mahler said. “This is showing how we are going to trust him, he made the right decision. So, we’re all thrilled. Kamala brings so much energy and poise and groundbreaking history to the Democratic Party. She’s going to be a fabulous VP candidate, and a fabulous Vice-President.”
Mahler also praised Biden’s selection of a Black woman, noting that many women throughout history paved the way for this moment.
“We’re pushing the limits, electing more women in the state legislature and almost sweeping the constitutional offices in 2018,” she said. “To me, outrageous, backwards, white, racist people are making a lot more noise now because they know they’re going down…Nevada has said we don’t want these kind of people. We want to have people like Pat Spearman representing us.”
Others noted that a Biden-Harris ticket will help to move the country past some of its current struggles.
“Whether it’s finally taking the response to COVID-19 seriously, addressing systemic racism and inequality, or helping our country recover from the economic devastation wrought by the Trump administration’s callousness and ineptitude, Harris is ready to help lead our nation past this dark era of incompetence and division,” said former U.S. Senator Harry Reid.
Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II echoed Reid in a statement.
“She is a fighter through and through and will be ready on Day One to face the crisis Trump has left us in,” he said. “Already, she has introduced a plan to combat this pandemic and its devastating racial disparities. This November, with Biden and Harris at the helm, we will unite this country and finally secure a future that works for all Americans.”
The other side of the aisle cast a much different light on Biden’s selection of Harris, asserting that it was further evidence of Biden’s radicalism to the left and using some of the same name-calling tactics as their party’s leader, President Trump.
“After choosing phony California Senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate, Joe Biden has proved he is an empty vessel being occupied by the radical left,” said Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael J. McDonald. “Harris’ extreme support for raising taxes, the abolition of private health insurance and willingness to defund the police make her and Biden wrong for Nevada.”
Trump called Harris several names when asked about the nomination during his coronavirus press briefing shortly after Biden’s announcement, calling her “phony” and “nasty.”
Keith Schipper of Nevada Trump Victory, the president’s local campaign effort, shared similar sentiments. “Far-left radical Kamala Harris has been named as Joe Biden’s running mate, giving Democrats the most extreme ticket in history.”
Harris was selected as Biden’s running mate from a pool of other accomplished women, including former United Nations Ambassador/National Security Advisor Susan Rice, U.S. Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL), Karen Bass (D-CA), and other Democratic Primary rivals to include U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) was a much-talked about candidate before she ruled herself out.
Harris is a Berkeley, California-native born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother. She identifies as African-American but recognizes her multicultural roots. Harris is a graduate of Berkeley Law and was a career prosecutor in Alameda and San Francisco counties before being elected as San Francisco District Attorney in 2003. She ran for and won a seat as California Attorney General, serving from 2011 to 2017 before winning her Senate seat in 2016.
Harris was also a presidential candidate for a time before suspending her campaign in late 2019. Harris made several stops through Nevada and for time had a campaign office in Reno. In December of 2019 Harris withdrew from the 2020 campaign after citing a shortage of funds, and endorsed Biden for president in March 2020.
Tuesday marks a turn of events for Harris after years of steady rise through the ranks of state and national politics. She’s the first woman of color to be a Vice Presidential nominee pick. Her story now becomes not just another political achievement, but a point of American history.
Check out video below of Kamala Harris during a campaign stop in Carson City in April 2019.
Don Dike-Anukam is a Reno native attending college in northern Nevada. He has been involved in activist politics for 15 years on and off, and has been involved in multiple campaigns in multiple positions in that time. He also was a college radio political, news, and talk-show host covering a range of stories from hostage standoffs, fires, interviews, and public speeches.