Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden has selected Senator Kamala Devi Harris as his nominee for vice president.
Kamala Harris is the daughter of Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher from India and Donald Harris, an economics professor with Jamaican roots. The US Senator would be the first woman and person of colour to be vice president if the Democrats win.
Biden tweeted Tuesday afternoon announcing his “running mate”, ending weeks of speculation.
Harris’s rich history as a prosecutor was was brought to light when she reached the top position of Attorney General of California, the largest US state.
Additionally, as a national senator, she was on the senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence and the Homeland Security Committee.
The newly nominated candidate embraces the African American identity as her primary one. In her memoir, The Truths We Hold, she said her mother knew that her adopted homeland would see both her children as black girls.
“She was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud black women.”
She also mentioned the Indian side of her childhood in her memoir. She says that she and Maya were “raised with a strong awareness of and appreciation for Indian culture,” crediting her grandparents from Chennai among other close relatives.
Her grandfather P V Gopalan was an Indian freedom-fighter. In the late 1960s, he was a civil servant assigned by the Indian government to help Zambia deal with its refugee crisis.
Former President Barack Obama said that Biden who was vice president during his time in office, “nailed it” by picking Harris.
She is the “ideal partner to help him tackle the very real challenges America faces right now and in the years ahead,” he said on Twitter.
Senator Kamala Harris also received an unexpected endorsement from President Trump. When speculation of her candidacy arose, he told reporters, “I think she’d be a fine choice”.
Previously Democrat Geraldine Ferraro and Republican Sarah Palin were nominated as vice-presidential candidates in 1984 and in 2008, respectively. The candidates were defeated on both accounts.