WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is now projected as president-elect of the United States, according to The Associated Press and CNN counts.
That would also make Kamala Harris the next vice president.
Kamala Harris makes history as the first Black woman to become vice president, an achievement that comes as the U.S. faces a reckoning on racial justice. The California senator, who is also the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency, will become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government, four years after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
But who is Harris, exactly? Here’s what you need to know about the VP nominee:
Former presidential candidate
Harris ran for president herself before she was chosen as Biden’s running mate.
She launched her presidential bid in January 2019 but eventually dropped out of the race in December 2019.
She endorsed Biden, her former rival, in March 2020. Months later, after Sen. Bernie Sanders had dropped out of the race, Harris was named as a potential VP pick for Biden.
US senator serving California
In 2017, Harris was sworn into the U.S. Senate, representing her home state of California and becoming the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American in Senate history, according to her Senate bio.
Harris serves on several Senate committees, including the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on the Budget.
Harris has gained attention in recent years for her actions during Senate hearings, specifically the way she questions members of the Trump administration.
A ‘progressive prosecutor’
Before joining the Senate, Harris served as California’s attorney general. She was the first woman and the first Black person to be elected to the position. Harris was first sworn in as AG in 2011 and was re-elected in 2014.
During her presidential campaign, Harris often touted her work as AG prosecuting transnational gangs. Those gangs exploited women and children and trafficked in guns and drugs, according to her campaign website.
She also often promotes her work of going after Wall Street banks and big corporations in her efforts to help consumers and her fight for marriage equality, citing her push to end Proposition 8 in California.
Before serving as attorney general, Harris spent seven years as the district attorney of the city and county of San Francisco. On her Senate page, Harris highlights a program she started while working as district attorney that helped first-time drug offenders earn a high school diploma and find a job.
Early life and education
Harris grew up in Oakland, California.
She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she earned her undergraduate degree. She then earned her law degree from the University of California.
Harris lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Doug Emhoff.