Florida pols react to Joe Biden tapping Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Kamala Harris joined by fellow Democratic presidential candidates, peaks at the Homestead detention center. Image via Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

Harris homestead
"This is a historic choice amidst many well-qualified choices on Biden’s short list."

The political world took notice after Democrat Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Harris is the third woman, behind Democrat Geraldine Ferraro and Republican Sarah Palin, to be tapped for the role for a major party ticket, and the first person of color. If elected, it will mark the first time a presidential ticket with a woman on the ballot wins the White House.

Here’s how Florida politicians took the news.

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat under consideration by Biden, tweeted: “Senator Kamala Harris is a fearless and proven champion for American families and the rule of law. Excited about this team and America’s future.” She said more too.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Sunrise Democrat and former National Democratic Committee chair, issued a statement: “I’m thrilled that Sen. Kamala Harris will join Joe Biden on the ticket as his choice for Vice President. Only in America would it be possible for a first-generation American woman like Kamala Harris, who has been a tenacious advocate for working families, a voice for the voiceless, and a fierce fighter for justice, to reach the pinnacle of national leadership. This is a historic choice amidst many well-qualified choices on Biden’s short list, including Florida’s very own Val Demings. On behalf of my constituents, I am very eager for Sen. Harris, someone I proudly call a friend, to show Americans what two competent, smart and qualified presidential candidates look like on one ticket. Amid the historic social unrest, pandemic and economic crisis this nation faces, this is the sharp, honest and steady leadership team that America needs right now.”

Former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, tweeted: “Senator Kamala Harris is my friend and is an excellent choice for VP.  Joe Biden, with Kamala as his partner, is now well positioned to win in November and then to govern in order to heal and bring our country together.

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Tallahassee Democrat, tweeted: “VP Joe Biden’s choice of Sen. Kamala Harris speaks to where we are as a nation. We are a diverse country, and that must be reflected in leadership. Sen. Harris is what America needs as we work to Build Back Better & unify our nation.”

U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, a Republican from The Villages, tweeted his own thoughts: “A Biden-Harris administration will not make our country safer, will not uphold our values or help hardworking Americans be more successful.”

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, an Orlando Democrat, tweeted: “Kamala Harris spent her career tirelessly pursuing equality and justice, and her historic nomination for vice president will bring a breath of fresh air to this role. I’m looking forward to what she & Joe Biden will do to bring us together and move this country forward.”

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, an Orlando Democrat, released a video statement: “We saw Vice President Biden really show his strength of character by picking a former rival, a strong women leader in Senator Harris, to be his running mate, and we couldn’t be more excited. She is ready to meet the moment. She’s got the experience of Attorney General for a lot of the justice issues that are really critical to this nation as well as the ability to go into becoming President if she needed to on the first that it would be required.”

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat, released a statement: “”I am thrilled that Joe Biden has selected Senator Kamala Harris as the Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States. Senator Harris will do an excellent job helping Vice President Biden and Democrats build back better from the chaos and pain Trump has inflicted on our great nation. The strength of our country is in its diversity and the values we hold in common. Kamala Harris represents these values and understands the critical tasks ahead to control COVID-19 and tackle the climate crisis. She has been a leader in highlighting the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color – and introduced legislation to address these disparities. She has successfully led on environmental justice and gone after dirty corporations for damaging our environment. With this historic selection of the first Black and South Asian American woman on the ticket, the 2020 Democratic National Convention in 6 days will unify America behind Joe Biden and Kamala Harris so that we can begin to build a more just, democratic, kinder and stronger country. I have hope for the future of America!”

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a Tampa Democrat, tweeted: “Senator Kamala Harris is a proven leader and I could not be more excited to have her join Joe Biden as his running mate. She’s been a leader on the issues that matter to so many in Florida. This is a historic ticket. Florida, let’s vote Team Biden/Harris this November!”

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat, tweeted: “I’ve worked with Kamala Harris on bills to strengthen our public defender system. I’ve seen her leadership on gun violence prevention & LGBTQ equality. I share her commitment to strengthening the US-Israel relationship. I’m all in for President Joe Biden & VP Harris.”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, released a statement: “In selecting Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Vice President Biden has demonstrated yet again that he has the judgment, compassion, and wisdom necessary for assuming the office of President of the United States. Today, Vice President Biden and Senator Harris made history, and our country has taken a great step forward in credit to our creed. I am proud to have endorsed Kamala many months ago, a member of my Divine Nine family, and am proud to have earned her endorsement. She is tenacious; she is fearless; she is brilliant; and when she is elected, she will be the first woman and the first Black American to serve as Vice President of the United States. I will do everything I can to support Joe and Kamala winning in November and look forward to working with them to put our country back on track.”

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, a Boca Raton Democrat, tweeted: “The selection of Kamala Harris by Joe Biden is a historic, joyful moment in American history.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a Miami Democrat, tweeted: “Just last year, Kamala Harris joined me and Daniella Levine Cava to help bring attention to the plight of children in migrant detention centers. Folks, together, we shut down the Homestead Child Detention Facility. I know first hand, Kamala Harris knows how to fight – and win.”

U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, a Miami Democrat, tweeted: “Senator Kamala Harris is an extraordinary choice to be our next vice president. The Biden-Harris ticket is a winning combination.”

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat, released a statement: “Senator Kamala Harris is ambitious, smart, and someone every little girl and boy can look up to. With her on the ticket our party, and our nation, is stronger. She will help lead Democrats to a victory in Florida, help win back the White House, and will help restore America’s moral compass.”

State Sen. Lauren Book, a Plantation Democrat, tweeted: “Congratulations to Kamala Harris on this historic moment! An incredible leader and fearless fighter who does not back down. Now, let’s keep working turn Florida — and the country — BLUE in November!”

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, an Orlando Democrat, tweeted: “If you’re not happy with Kamala Harris as the VP pick for Joe Biden please just think of the current alternative… Mike Pence.”

State Rep. Margaret Good, a Sarasota Democrat, tweeted: “With the Biden/Harris ticket we can: have access to quality healthcare; protect our environment; ensure equality for all; sleep again. Biden/Harris2020”

Former Tallahassee Mayor and gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum simply tweeted “Madam Vice President!” with a gif of Jack Black saluting.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, a Mayoral candidate, issued a statement: “This is an historic moment for our country. Another glass ceiling has been shattered with Sen. Kamala Harris’ nomination as Vice President, and I am proud to join her and the women running for office across the country as we continue to break through even the toughest barriers. We are united for change in 2020.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Sonja Fitch

    August 12, 2020 at 6:45 am

    As a proud Democrat our President and Vice President are two good and decent humans! American humans that believe in the common good! Americans that make mistakes admit the mistakes and then correct the mistakes ! Vote Blue!

  • Susan

    August 12, 2020 at 6:49 am

    ONE Republican comment? Really? And you’ve covered politics for 20 years?! Quite obvious you have forgotten Journalism 101.. “fair and balanced” reporting. Are Democrats and liberal journalists that afraid of reporting a balanced viewpoint or has the power to sway public opinion with your selective reporting gone to your head so much that you have betrayed your first love.. true joirnalism?

Comments are closed.


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