Current position: US Senator from California
Previous role: Attorney General of California from 2011-2017
DOB: 20 October 1964 – She is 55 and will be 56 at the time of the election
Race: Her father is Jamaican and her mother is Indian. She identifies as both African American and South Asian American, but identifying as African American is something already being scrutinised in response to her selection. She is the first African American female VP candidate for a major party and the first South Asian (male or female) VP candidate for a major party.
Female VP candidates: Harris is the third female VP candidate for a major party, following Geraldine Ferraro (with Walter Mondale in 1984) and Sarah Palin (with John McCain in 2008).
Legal and senatorial career: Harris was District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004-2011, Attorney General of California from 2011-2017. In this time, she focused on criminal justice reform and consumer protection, among other causes. Her record as a prosecutor is one of her most significant criticisms because she is accused of avoiding cases that involved police killings. She has continued to work on these issues since becoming a senator for California in 2017.
2020 election: Harris ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2020 election amongst a wide range of Democrats. In the primary debates, Harris was hard on Biden’s praise for legislators that opposed anti-segregation measures (school bussing in the 1970s). She ended her campaign in December 2019 and endorsed Biden in March 2020.
Key USSC analysis regarding Kamala Harris:
• Vice Presidential Sweepstakes webinar – feat. Simon Jackman and Kim Hoggard
• Biden chooses a VP – by Bruce Wolpe
• Harris will bring a campaign toughness to a Biden ticket - feat. Simon Jackman
• Joe Biden’s running mate will have her eye on history – by Stephen Loosley
• Joe Biden’s VP pick is a watershed moment in American democracy – by Kim Hoggard