Caribbean lawmakers support Harris’s selection as Biden’s running mate

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NEW YORK, United (CMC) — Caribbean American Democratic Congresswoman, Yvette D Clarke, has described the decision by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to select Senator Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate as “a historic milestone”.

Harris, 55, is the first black woman and the first person of Indian heritage to be nominated for national office by a major US party.

She is also only the fourth woman in American history to be selected for a presidential ticket.

In 1972, the late Shirley Anita Chisholm, the daughter of a Barbadian mother and a Guyanese father, became the first Caribbean and African American candidate to seek nomination from a major US political party for president of the United States.

“Congratulations to my colleague and sister-in-service Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California on her vice-presidential nomination,” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“I am proud to serve in Congress alongside my fellow Jamaican colleague and change-maker who is paying the way for women of colour in politics and beyond. Today truly marks a historic milestone for the Democratic Party and the American people.

“Senator Harris embodies and is the epitome of the American dream. She will be a vigorous campaigner, a fearless leader and a worthy confidante to former Vice-President Biden. For the first time in our history, millions of little girls of colour across our nation will soon have someone in the White House that looks like them and unequivocally speaks for them,” she said.

The congresswoman said Harris’s intellect and ability are “above reproach and serve as an inspiration to us all”.

In selecting Harris, Clarke said Biden has answered the call of the moment.

“Her selection is the jet fuel that will provide the momentum and excitement required in this transformational era, where change is being demanded in the streets,” she said, adding “this is a launching pad for the inclusive, people first campaign that will take down the current Administration in November”.

Haitian American New York State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte also told CMC that Harris is “an inspired choice” and “a well-credentialled woman who is battle-tested on the campaign trail and in debates.

“She will join Joe Biden in restoring saneness and wisdom to the White House, while helping to win back the United States Senate,” said Bichotte, chair of the Brooklyn (Kings County) Democratic Party, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn.

“She reflects the rising diversity of the nation and the party. We in Brooklyn are ready to roll up our sleeves and elect the Biden-Harris team this November.”

Biden announced Harris as his vice-presidential candidate in a text and follow-up e-mail to supporters.

“Joe Biden here. Big news: I’ve chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate. Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump.”

In response, Harris said in a Twitter post that she was delighted to join Biden on the presidential ticket.

“Joe Biden can unify the American people, because he’s spent his life fighting for us,” she wrote.

In the Democratic Party’s presidential race, Harris said in early December that she was terminating her bid for the party’s nominee in November’s US Presidential Election because of lack of funding.

The California Democrat was born in Oakland, California, to two immigrant parents: an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.

After her parents’ divorce, she was raised primarily by her Hindu single mother, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist.

Harris, who will join Vice-President Mike Pence on October 7 in Utah for the first vice-presidential debate of 2020, will be closely watched when she delivers her speech accepting the nomination at the Democratic convention.

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