WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden’s search for a running mate is entering a second round of vetting for a dwindling list of potential vice presidential nominees, with several black women in strong contention.
Prominent Democrats with knowledge of the process said Biden’s vetting committee has narrowed the choices to as few as six serious contenders after initial interviews.
Among those still in the mix are former presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.
A potentially surprise inclusion is Susan Rice, who served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.
Biden, who has already said he will pick a woman as his running mate, is facing increased calls from Democrats to put a woman of color on the ticket — both because of the outsize role that black voters played in Biden’s road to the nomination and because of the reckoning over racism and inequality roiling the nation following the death of George Floyd.
The black Minneapolis man died after a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck for several minutes, an episode that was captured on video.
Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman, said that while Biden’s choice was likely to be “all about personal chemistry,” it would be “exciting for the party” to have a black woman on a major party presidential ticket for the first time.
The campaign’s short list includes several black women, including Harris and Rice. Advisers have also looked closely at Florida Rep. Val Demings and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, both of whom are black, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Latina.