Bernie Sanders Delegates from California Reject Kamala Harris as Running Mate

Democratic presidential hopeful, California Senator, Kamala Harris speaks at the California Democratic Party 2019 Fall Endorsing Convention in Long Beach, California on November 16, 2019. (Photo by CHRIS CARLSON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS CARLSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
CHRIS CARLSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A group of “progressives” representing a large proportion of delegates won by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-CA) in California has signed a letter to presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden urging that he pick a running mate from a short list of candidates that does to include local Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

Instead, they say, he should choose Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), or former Sanders campaign spokesperson Nina Turner, a former Ohio state legislator.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

California Sen. Kamala Harris is widely believed to be on Joe Biden’s short list for vice president, but a group of Bernie Sanders supporters in the California Democratic Party wants the nominee-to-be to pick either Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee or one of two other Black women instead.

“In order to meet this historic moment, Democrats must select an exceptional progressive vice presidential candidate who will both inspire the 90 million Americans who did not vote in 2016 to cast a ballot this November and lead America into a new era of equality, compassion, and economic justice,” the Sanders backers wrote.

The letter was signed by 145 of the 153 Sanders delegates who voted on the suggestion. Of the 495 state party delegates, a little more than half were awarded to Sanders after the March 3 primary.

It is not clear why, exactly, the signatories rejected Harris, though she has long had trouble consolidating support from the left because of her record as a prosecutor in San Francisco and California.

Harris’s presidential ambitions were all but crushed in the second Democratic Party presidential debate in Detroit nearly a year ago, when Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) attacked her record on prosecuting marijuana offenders and on seeking to deny a Death Row inmate’s quest for exoneration.

In May, Harris joined Black Lives Matter protesters at Lafayette Park, across from the White House, during the first weekend of protests. The protest became violent at several stages and was eventually cleared by Park Police.

Harris remains the favorite to be nominated as Biden’s running mate, though there are several other contenders, all female.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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