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Kamala Harris: Woman, Black, Indian-origin and Now the Vice-President of United States

Democratic US vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris gestures as she gives remarks during an event, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Democratic US vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris gestures as she gives remarks during an event, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

In August, Biden named Harris as his running mate and she has since established herself as a crucial partner, successfully garnering the support of women and voters of colour who played a key role in Biden’s victory.

The long-drawn-out process of determining the next president of the United States came to an end on Saturday with Democrat Joe Biden’s nail-biting finish in Pennsylvania. Now, his running mate Kamala Harris is all set to create history as she gears up to become the first woman, the first Black American, and the first Asian-American to hold the office of the vice president of the United States. A senator from California, Harris is known to have shattered many glass ceilings. She was San Francisco’s first female district attorney and California’s first woman of color to serve as the attorney general.

Harris, whose mother and father moved to the United States from India and Jamaica, respectively, had launched her presidential bid and competed against Biden. However, she pulled out of the race in December after she was struggled on addressing her past as a prosecutor. In August, Biden named Harris as his running mate and she has since established herself as a crucial partner, successfully garnering the support of women and voters of colour who played a key role in Biden’s victory.

Kamala Harris: A Key Player in Biden Campaign

After Trump's speech, where he alleged electoral fraud, Harris came down heavily on the president. "Over 100 million Americans voted before Election Day with a belief in our electoral process—trusting that their ballots would count. Now, Trump is trying to invalidate these ballots, and we need to fight back. Donate today to support the Biden Fight Fund," Harris tweeted.

Even in the final days of the campaigning, Harris toured some of the key battleground states like Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida. Importantly, she became the first-ever Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate to campaign in the Republican stronghold of Texas. In particular, she helped further Biden's hold over Indian-Americans, a community with a growing influence. Harris, who created extensive fundraising networks during her Senate and White House bids, has also been integral in raising huge sums of money in the concluding months of the campaign.

“Harris always made the most sense as a running mate for Biden because she had the ability to help him unify the Democratic coalition across racial and generational lines and was able to spike base enthusiasm,” said Joel Payne, a Democratic strategist who worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign told Reuters.

CAREER & ROAD TO HISTORIC NOMINATION

Born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, Harris' mother and father emigrated from India and Jamaica, respectively. She went to Howard University, a 'historically black college' in Washington DC, and studied law at UC Hastings. After finishing her legal studies, Harris worked for eight years at the Alameda County District Attorney's office, where she prosecuted child sexual assault cases. She was later elected as San Francisco's District Attorney from 2004 to 2011 and California's Attorney General from 2011, until 2017. During her stint as a California's Attorney General, Harris caught the attention of national democrats, including Barack Obama.

Harris is known for fighting for seemingly progressive reforms in California - she introduced a program in San Francisco that offered first-time drug offenders education and work opportunities instead of jail time. However, she also defended the state's death penalty and fought to more harshly punish the parents of chronically truant school children.


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