Democratic Rep. Val Demings, a finalist to be Joe Biden’s running mate, touted the former vice president’s choice to tap Kamala Harris to join him on the ticket, cheering his pick.
“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,” Demings, D-Fla., tweeted Tuesday. “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,” she continued, noting that America deserves “leadership that will not only put America back on track, but #BuildBackBetter.”
Demings went on to say that 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 WH, protect the rights, liberty, and safety of the American people, and expand access to health care and opportunity for all.”
“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,” Demings said. “To that end, I am excited to do everything in my power to ensure that on January 20th, @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris will be sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States.”
Demings, a second-term congresswoman and the first female police chief for the Orlando Police Department, was reportedly on the shortlist for Biden’s running mate.
She gained national exposure as one of the House impeachment managers that made the chamber’s case against President Trump in his Senate impeachment trial earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Harris, the Democratic senator from California and former 2020 presidential hopeful, said she is “honored” to join the ticket as Biden’s running mate.
“@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us,” the Democratic senator from California tweeted. “And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals.”
She added: “I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”
Harris’ tweet comes after Biden announced in an email to supporters on Tuesday afternoon that he had chosen her as his running mate, saying that he “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 also tweeted: “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.”
He added: “Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”
The decision comes after Biden and Harris publicly clashed in the primary campaign — notably when Harris challenged him on the debate stage of his past resistance to federally mandated desegregation busing.
The pick shows a willingness from both Biden and Harris to move past their differences. The decision may have been tipped off days earlier, when he was photographed with talking points saying of Harris that he does “not hold grudges” and has “great respect for her.”
The choice also fulfills a commitment the former vice president made in March to name a woman as running mate. Naming a Black woman at a time when issues of systemic racism are front and center also responds to signals from some circles in the party that such a choice could help build bridges with the Black community.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign blasted Biden’s pick, calling Harris a “phony,” while saying the choice reflects the former vice president’s “extreme agenda.”