Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chose Sen. Kamala Harris, an East Bay native, as his running mate.
“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked— a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
Harris’ parents are from Jamaica and India, making her the first African-American and first Asian-American to be selected as a vice-presidential nominee by a major party.
Although Harris first came onto the local and statewide scene as San Francisco district attorney and, later, state attorney general, her early service in government and personal roots are undeniably East Bay.
Harris served as an Alameda County deputy district attorney from 1990 to 1994. She was born in Oakland, and spent her formative years in Berkeley.
Harris highlighted her Alameda County credentials during her unsuccessful run for president last year. The campaign’s kickoff rally was held in downtown Oakland and attended by an estimated 20,000 people.
As Biden’s campaign for president initially foundered, it was Harris who referenced her childhood growing up in Berkeley during an early presidential debate.
The exchange between Harris and Biden, in which she skewered his previous opposition to school busing programs, delivered a potential knockout punch by revealing Biden has opposed similar programs that had personally helped her development as a child. It lead to Harris telling Biden, “and that girl was me.”
But the aggressive play by Harris was later forgiven by Biden and his campaign.
Tuesday’s announcement triggered a flood of congratulations from East Bay public officials, many tweeting photographs of themselves with the presumptive vice-presidential nominee.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who was an early supporter of Harris’ campaign, exclaimed “5-1-0 in the house!” Politico reported.