Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The historic selection of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s vice-presidential choice prompted reaction around NC.

When Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden selected US Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, what many had predicted for months finally became a reality.

Biden 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.”

Harris and Biden appeared for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware.

Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, is the first Black person and the first Indian American person to be selected as a running mate for a major party candidate. She is also the third woman chosen as a vice-president pick from a major party.

“Absolutely inspiring,” said Dimple Ajmera, the at-large representative on the Charlotte City Council who immigrated from India at age 16, in a text to Cardinal & Pine. “[She] represents the ‘American Dream’. Paving the way for millions of black and brown girls.” 

Michael Bitzer, a professor of politics and history at Catawba College, believes Harris appeals to an increasingly diverse America. “This is a kind of candidate that appeals to where America is moving, very multiracial, almost willing to say, ‘You know what? Labels don’t really matter anymore,’” Bitzer told Cardinal & Pine.

Several prominent North Carolina elected leaders tweeted congratulations to Sen. Harris and the Biden campaign, including NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, state Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, and state Sen. Erica Davis

Former state House Rep. Bobbie Richardson, a Democrat who represents Franklin and Nash counties, echoed what other politicians view as a victory for so many Black women who have supported the Democratic party. 

“African American women, who are the foundation of the Democratic Party, are going to be given an opportunity not only to come to the table, but to have a voice in policy decisions,” said Richardson. 

An alumna of Howard University, Harris will also be the first graduate of a historically black college or university (HBCU) to be on a major party ticket. 

DeNeiro Sanders is working on his masters in biology at North Carolina A&T, an HBCU in the University of North Carolina system, and recalls meeting Harris as a volunteer during her presidential campaign. 

“She was always there to take a picture. She spoke to people, [including] her small gathering of interns,” Sanders said about Harris. “When we were there just to set up for that event, she spoke to us for about 30 minutes. She was able to build connections with people across generational bounds.”

Stay tuned for more coverage at Cardinal & Pine