With Joe Biden picking Kamala Harris as his running mate, Orlando’s own hopeful Rep. Val Demings said Tuesday that the ticket “promises to restore America’s faith.”
Demings responded after former Vice President Biden announced the Senator from California would be his running mate this year, after considering Demings and several other women for the job.
In her initial written statement, Demings barely acknowledged Harris specifically and did not explicitly congratulate or praise the Senator. But Demings followed up with a second statement and a tweet that expanded on that by calling Harris “a fearless and proven champion for American families and the rule of law.”
In her earlier statement, Demings praised Harris as part of the Democrats’ ticket in the November general election, seeking to defeat President Donald Trump and his running mate, Vice President Mike Pence.
“For a little girl who grew up poor, Black and female in the South to be considered during this process has been an incredible honor. I feel so blessed. To see a Black woman nominated for the first time reaffirms my faith that in America, there is a place for every person to succeed no matter who they are or where they come from,” Demings said.
Harris was selected after an extensive search that had reportedly shown strong consideration to Demings, a former Orlando Police chief who impressed as one of the House managers in the Trump impeachment; as well as to Karen Bass, the California congresswoman who leads the Congressional Black Caucus; former President Barack Obama‘s national security adviser Susan Rice; and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, whose passionate response to unrest in her city garnered national attention; and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive.
“In this time of crises, we deserve leadership that will not only put America back on track, but build back better. The Biden/Harris ticket promises to restore America’s faith that we can defeat COVID-19, save our crippled economy, restore honor and integrity to the White House, protect the rights, liberty, and safety of the American people, and expand access to health care and opportunity for all,” Demings said.
“I will continue to work to make the American Dream an attainable reality for every person in our country, and continue the struggle for a more perfect union. To that end, I am excited to do everything in my power to ensure that on January 20th, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States.”
Harris is the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket.
A woman has never served as president or vice president in the United States and just two women have been nominated as running mates on major party tickets: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. Their party lost in the general election.
The vice presidential pick carries increased significance this year. If elected, Biden would be 78 when he’s inaugurated in January, the oldest man to ever assume the presidency. He has spoken of himself as a transitional figure and hasn’t fully committed to seeking a second term in 2024. If he declines to do so, his running mate would likely become a front-runner for the nomination that year.
The Associated Press contributed to this post.