After weeks of speculation, Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as his running mate, his campaign announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The decision comes less than a week before the Democratic National Convention and over a year since the two clashed at the first Democratic primary debate.
“You make a lot of important decisions as president. But the first one is who you select to be your Vice President. I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021,” Biden wrote in an email to supporters.
“I need someone working alongside me who is smart, tough, and ready to lead. Kamala is that person,” Biden wrote. “I need someone who understands the pain that so many people in our nation are suffering. Whether they’ve lost their job, their business, a loved one to this virus.”
“This president says he ‘doesn’t want to be distracted by it.’ He doesn’t understand that taking care of the people of this nation — all the people — isn’t a distraction — it’s the job,” Biden continued. “Kamala understands that. I need someone who understands that we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. And that if we’re going to get through these crises — we need to come together and unite for a better America. Kamala gets that.”
Both Biden and Harris will appear together at an event in Wilmington, Delaware tomorrow according to the campaign.
If elected, the 55-year-old California senator would be the first first female, first Black and first Asian American vice president in the history of the country.
As attorney general, Harris worked closely with Biden’s late son, Beau, when he was Delaware’s attorney general. She often campaigned for Biden virtually and discussed important issues such as coronavirus cases and protecting the Affordable Care Act.
“Our campaign is full of ambitious women going all out for Joe Biden,” Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a tweet. “Whoever he chooses from the very qualified options to help him win & unite the country, she’ll be one too.”