"I have the great honor to announce that I've picked (Harris) -- a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country's finest public servants -- as my running mate,'' Biden announced via his Twitter page. Harris is the first Black and South Asian woman to run on the ticket of a major political party. Biden vowed during a primary debate in March that he would pick a woman as his running mate.
The selection ended hopes of Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, of becoming the vice presidential candidate. She was among those being vetted for a spot on the ticket. Bass' office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CNN reported that Biden personally called Bass to inform her of his decision. Others reported to have been under consideration included Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.In recent days, speculation focused more narrowly on Harris and Rice.
Reaction among Southland community leaders and Democrats was swift and expectedly glowing. "Biden/Harris a winning combination for a better America!'' former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa crowed on Twitter.County Supervisor Janice Hahn added, "I have been proud to call Kamala Harris my Senator and I look forward to calling her Madam Vice President. Good #VPPick, Joe Biden.''
Melina Abdullah, one of the founders and leaders of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, wrote, "As much as I wanted it to be (Bass), I told y'all from the beginning that (Biden) was gonna pick (Harris). Somebody owes me a
Rick Chavez, executive director of the Los Angeles-based LGBTQ advocacy group Equality California, called Harris an "exceptional choice.'' "Throughout her career, Senator Harris has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to civil rights and social justice for all LGBTQ+ people,'' Chavez said in a statement. "As vice president, we are confident she will continue Vice President Biden's tradition of using the office to champion and advance full, lived LGBTQ+ equality -- and equality for the diverse communities to which LGBTQ+ people belong.''