As word spread about former Vice President Joe Biden’s pick for his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, reaction flurried on social media including comments from the state of Maryland.
“I am thrilled to see Vice President Biden choose Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate,” Del. Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County), who last year became Maryland’s first Black and first woman to serve as House speaker, posted on her Twitter page. “Black women are the backbone of our party and our country and I believe this is the winning ticket we need to defeat Trump.”
Maryland Democrats and organizations released statements on the selection of Harris.
“Democrats and our fellow Americans have much to be excited about in a Biden-Harris ticket. Their vision and talents will serve our nation well in the uncertain and critical months and years ahead,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland). “I look forward to hearing from Senator Harris next week at the Democratic National Convention as she makes the case for Joe Biden and for Democrats to lead the way in making sure America can build back better in 2020 and beyond.”
Harris also represents Alpha Kappa Alpha, an African-America sorority whose pink and green colors shined on social media immediately after the announcement Tuesday.
Del. Jheannelle Wilkins (D-Montgomery County), a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, said in an interview the Biden-Harris represent values the American people haven’t seen in almost four years.
“We now have two candidates who truly want to ensure everyday working people are lifted up, in contrast to what we’ve seen in a president that only takes actions that benefit himself,” she said. “The ticket that we have includes a woman who herself has put forward policing and justice reform issues … who has led in the Senate on that. The ticket that we have is people first.”
State President Pro Tem Melony Griffith (D-District 25) of Upper Marlboro also feels proud as a graduate of Howard University, receiving a master’s degree in social work in 1987. Harris graduated from Howard in 1986.
As a co-chair of the grassroots group, Maryland Women for Biden, Griffith wants to change it to “Maryland Women for Biden-Harris.”
“We are HU proud. Howard University has a legacy of producing incredible leaders. I am sitting proud and tall today,” she said. “As a student at Howard University, we were taught that talk is not enough. We were set to a standard to work. No matter [a student’s] work of study, it was understood you had to put in work. This campaign is going to be about putting in work…”
Staff Writer William J. Ford contributed to this report.