Kamala Harris made history on Jan. 20, 2021, becoming the first woman to hold the position of vice president of the U.S., as Joe Biden was sworn in as POTUS. We’ve got five things to know about the trailblazer.
UPDATE, 1/20/21: 12:00pm ET: Kamala Harris has been sworn in as Vice President of the United States. She looked radiant in a purple Markarian coat as she took her oath of office. The color represented the merging of Democratic blue and Republican red in a show of uniting the nation. The former California senator has become the first woman, the first Black American and the first Asian American to hold the second highest US office.
UPDATE, 11/07/20, 12:00 pm ET: Four days after election day, it was announced that Kamala Harris would become the next vice president of the United States — the first woman to ever hold the position — in Jan. 2021! She’ll also be the first Black Woman and first Asian American woman to be vice president in the country.
UPDATE, 8/11/20, 4:30pm ET: Joe Biden has selected Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the 2020 presidential election. He announced the decision on Twitter, writing, “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. 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.”
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.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020
UPDATE, 12/3/19, 1:40pm ET: Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race. Once one of the Democrats’ most promising candidates, her popularity waned in recent months as Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg moved significantly ahead of her in the polls. Despite qualifying for the December Democratic debate, the senator was struggling to gain donors and sufficient resources to continue the campaign, according to a staffer who spoke to CNN; dozens of staffers were laid off in November.
Shortly after informing her campaign staffers via phone call, she released a statement on Twitter: “To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today. But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.”
Harris’ 2020 co-candidates expressed their support on Twitter. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “My dear friend @KamalaHarris is a trailblazer. I’ve loved serving with her in the Senate and every moment we’ve run into one another on the trail. Her campaign broke barriers and did it with joy. Love you, sister. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) tweeted, “Kamala is a good friend and incredibly strong public servant. Sometimes campaigns can tear friendships apart but we have grown closer. Her good work will continue.”
ORIGINAL: Kamala Harris is already a remarkable woman and is ready to prove she’ll make a remarkable president. The California senator announced on Martin Luther King Day that she will be entering the 2020 presidential race as a democrat. The announcement came on the same week that Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to ever run for president, announced her candidacy 47 years ago. Here’s everything you need to know about 2020’s newest contender!
1. She started her political career as a district attorney.
Harris was San Francisco’s district attorney from 2004 until she was elected California’s attorney general in 2010 and was the first woman of color to hold both positions. In 2008, when Hillary Clinton lost the presidential nomination to Barack Obama, The New York Times listed Harris, who was just a DA at the time, as one of the few women who “earned a reputation as a tough fighter” and “might just be president someday.”
2. She was elected to the Senate in 2016.
Harris was elected by the state of California in 2016, carrying all by four counties. Following her election, she promised she would protect immigrants for the policies of then-President-elect Donald Trump. She has since visited immigrant detention centers and have been outspoken against the current administration. She also serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Select Committee On Intelligence and the Committee on Budget.
To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today.
But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.https://t.co/92Hk7DHHbR
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 3, 2019
3. She was a target of the mail bombing attempts in October 2018.
A suspicious package addressed to Harris was intercepted by law enforcement officials at a Sacramento postal facility on October 26, 2018. It was believed to be sent by Cesar Sayoc, who was taken in to custody and accused of sending at least 12 other suspicious devices to CNN, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, the Clintons, and other key Democrats.
4. In addition to immigration reform, Harris is a supporter of gun control, environmental justice and the decriminalization of marijuana.
Harris is also an advocate for disaster relief, as she was one of eight senators to sign a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, charging the agency for neglecting displaced Puerto Ricans after the devastating hurricane. Additionally, she is against the death penalty and pro-choice. She also campaigned heavily against Prop 8 and Prop 22, and created a Hate Crimes Unit as the San Francisco DA to focus on hate crimes against LGBT children and teens in schools.
5. Harris was born to an Indian mother and Jamaican father in Oakland, CA.
Harris is a California native, born to a Tamil Indian mother and Jamaican father. Kamala’s mother was a breast cancer scientist who immigrated to the US from Madras, and her father was an economics professor at Stanford, who immigrated from Jamaica in 1960.