US presidential candidate Joe Biden has selected Kamala Harris as his running mate and pick for vice-president.
Senator Harris, the 55-year-old California senator and former attorney-general, is the first Black woman to be named on a national political ticket by a major party and is also the first Asian-American vice-presidential nominee in history.
“I have the great honour 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,” Mr Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, tweeted on Tuesday (local time).
“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.”
Senator Harris was also the US Senate's second Black woman in its history when she was elected in 2016.
She said she believed Mr Biden could “unify the American people because he's spent his life fighting for us”.
“And as president, he'll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I'm honoured to join him as our party's nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.” she tweeted.
In Senator Harris, who made her own run for the White House before ending it and endorsing Mr Biden, he gains a deeply experienced politician already battle-tested by the rigours of the 2020 presidential campaign as they head into the final stretch of the November 3 election.
She will be relied on to help drive the African-American vote – the Democratic Party's most loyal constituency.
Four years ago, the first dip in black voter turnout in 20 years contributed to Democrat Hillary Clinton's upset loss to Donald Trump.
Mr Biden served as vice-president for eight years under Barack Obama, the first Black US president.
Speculation Biden will only serve one term if elected
Senator Harris, a former prosecutor and state attorney-general in California, is well known for her sometimes aggressive questioning style in the Senate, most notably of Brett Kavanaugh during his 2018 Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
The choice of a running mate has added significance for Mr Biden, who will turn 78 in November and be the oldest person to become president if he is elected.
Mr Biden's age also has led to broad speculation he will serve only one term, making Senator Harris a potential top contender for the nomination in 2024.
Some of his allies were concerned that would make her a bad fit for the No.2 job and questioned her loyalty.
Mr Biden publicly committed to choosing a woman as his No. 2 in a March debate after discussing the matter with his wife, Jill, and had considered other former presidential rivals such as Senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.
After the protests that erupted over the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white policeman in Minneapolis, Mr Biden's search focused predominantly on candidates of colour.
Senator Harris will be confirmed as Mr Biden's running mate at the Democratic convention that begins on Monday, where he will also be formally nominated to challenge Mr Trump.
– with AAP
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