State Democratic leaders celebrated the nomination of Sen. Kamala Harris as former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate, describing the selection of a woman with Jamaican and Indian ancestry as “historic,” while also praising her credentials as a senator and former California attorney general.
Democratic officials said they believe Harris will appeal to a broad cross-section of voters, including moderates from both parties. They also said Harris will energize female and Black voters, two core constituencies for the Democratic Party.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
The Senate minority leader in a tweet said Harris “has been an outstanding Senator and will be an outstanding Vice President!”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
The former presidential candidate in a tweet said: "I've been lucky to get to fight alongside my friend (Kamala Harris) in the Senate — and I’m thrilled to support her through her next journey."
Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove)
Suozzi, in a phone interview, said Harris is “on the [Senate] intelligence and judiciary committees so she knows what's going on domestically and internationally, and she ran one of the largest legal operations in the world when she was the attorney general of California."
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City)
“Kamala Harris is a historic choice for Vice President and I have no doubt that Biden-Harris will be a winning ticket. Not to mention it’ll be fun to watch her clean [Vice President] Mike Pence’s clock in a debate.”
Jay Jacobs, New York State Democratic chairman
"Kamala Harris is the perfect choice for vice president. Her prosecutorial experience readies her for the task of making the case for a Biden presidency and for ending the Trump disaster that the nation has suffered through for more than 3-1/2 years. Moreover, her Senate experience has demonstrated that she understands the role of government and that she will bring into a Biden administration the compassion, decency and competency necessary to ‘build America back better.’”
Robert Zimmerman, Democratic National Committee member
Zimmerman, a party leader from Great Neck, said, “We in New York take particular pride, because it is a tribute to the legacy of Shirley Chisholm, a Brooklyn Democratic congresswoman who ran for president, Geraldine Ferraro, a former Queens congresswoman who was the first female vice presidential candidate from a major party, and Hillary Clinton, the former New York senator who was the first female presidential candidate for a major party."
“Her personal background as the daughter of parents from India and Jamaica also is a tremendous dramatic contrast to an administration that has pursued policies that demonize immigrants,” Zimmerman said of Harris.
State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx)
The first African American leader of the New York Assembly, posted a photo of himself with Harris and said on Twitter: “I am ecstatic that @JoeBiden has chosen my good friend and cousin’s college roommate @KamalaHarris to be our country’s next vice president!”
State Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers)
The first African American woman to lead the State Senate said: “What a great choice! Now on to the White House!”