Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s pick of Kamala Harris as his running mate is eliciting the expected fervor among local Democrats, as well as doubts from Republicans.
Harris has made several stops in the Valley over the years, as both the state’s attorney general and as a U.S. senator. Many local Democrats posted pictures with themselves and Harris on social media after Tuesday’s announcement.
A Historic Choice
“We are happy, proud, and elated at this historical moment in our history.” — Kimberly Tapscott-Munson
Fresno County Board of Education Trustee and Democratic Party activist Kimberly Tapscott-Munson could barely contain her enthusiasm about the Harris pick.
“We are excited, elated, and proud that she is the first woman of color to receive this nomination as vice president. We are happy, proud, and elated at this historical moment in our history,” said Tapscott-Munson, who is involved with Black Women Organized for Political Action.
Costa Offers Full Support
“I have known Senator Kamala Harris for many years. Her strength of character and incredible intellect make her more than qualified to serve in our country’s highest office,” Rep. Jim Costa, a Fresno Democrat, said in a news release from his campaign.
“She has the experience and ability to be a most formidable candidate as vice president. As Joe Biden’s running mate, Sen. Harris will bring even more energy to the campaign, as we all work together to ensure their election this fall.”
Costa endorsed Biden during the presidential campaign earlier this year.
In 2016, when Harris ran for the Senate, Costa supported her Democratic opponent, Loretta Sanchez. Harris ended up the easy winner in that race with 61.6% of the vote.
Republicans Not Impressed
“She would take away private health plans, make energy more expensive, and ‘reimagine policing.’ She will not rebuild the economy, confront China, or uphold public safety.” — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
Local Republicans were not impressed by Biden’s selection of Harris.
“According to Biden’s own assessment during the primary debates, Kamala Harris is uniquely unqualified to fill that role, let alone to lead the country. I couldn’t agree more,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said in an emailed statement.
“As her policy stances in Washington show, she would take away private health plans, make energy more expensive, and ‘reimagine policing.’ She will not rebuild the economy, confront China, or uphold public safety.”
Fred Vanderhoof, the chairman of the Fresno County Republican Party, says Harris as Biden’s vice presidential nominee helps President Donald Trump’s reelection bid.
“It shows that the Democrats are concerned about shoring up their base with the African-American community,” Vanderhoof said. “President Trump has done so well with the African-American community, with highest employment ever (and) lowest unemployment ever (before the pandemic.) I think the Democrats are concerned about losing more votes to President Trump.”
Conservative commentator Mike Der Manouel Jr. of Fresno tweeted Tuesday evening about the choice of Harris: “That sound you hear is nothing. It’s a dud.”
Sharing Kamala Photos
Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias, State Center Community College District Trustee Eric Payne, and Fresno councilman-elect and president of the Fresno Young Democrats Tyler Maxwell shared photos with Harris.
— Miguel Arias (@MiguelArias_D3) August 11, 2020
— eric payne (@IamEricPayne) August 12, 2020
Last year I met up with @SenKamalaHarris during my council campaign. She gave me some good advice and we wished each other luck on our respective races. It’s lookin like 2020 gonna be our year after all, Senator! #ForThePeople pic.twitter.com/uf6Ru39T0x
— Tyler Maxwell (@Maxwell4Fresno) August 11, 2020