Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has today selected Senator Kamala Harris of California as his choice for vice president. Ms Harris, 55, has now become the first Black woman on a major presidential ticket in US history.
Mr Biden said on Twitter: “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.”
With widespread social unrest over racial injustice and police brutality against Black Americans triggering protests and uproar in the country for months, Mr Biden had been under increasing pressure to select a woman of colour as his running mate.
Mr Biden had been considering several Black women in addition to Harris, including former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and US Representative Val Demings, a former police chief in Orlando, Florida
Mrs Harris is also the first Asian-American on a major presidential ticket.
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As a presidential candidate, she also took Mr Biden to task in a nationally televised debate over his past stances on mandatory busing for students as a means to desegregate schools.
Some advisers of Mr Biden have told Reuters the attacks made them question whether she would be a trusted working partner because of her political ambitions.
While this exchange failed to boost her White House hopes, the Biden campaign will now look for her to train her prosecutorial fire on Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Ms Harris at times came under criticism from some in the Black community and from progressive advocates for her record as California attorney general where, they say, she did not do enough to investigate police shootings and too often sided with prosecutors in wrongful conviction cases.
Her defenders say she has always been reform-minded and point to her record in the Senate, where she has championed a police-reform bill and an anti-lynching bill, among other measures.
Ms Harris herself has said she became a prosecutor in order to bring a more progressive approach to the office.
The daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, Harris has knocked down barriers throughout her career.
She was the first woman to serve as San Francisco’s district attorney, elected in 2003, and the first woman to serve as California’s attorney general, elected to this role in 2010.