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October 21, 2020

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Nevada Democrats jubilant as Kamala Harris makes history at convention


Carolyn Kaster / AP

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.

Nevada Democrats, ahead of the third night of the Democratic National Convention, celebrated the historic vice-presidential nomination of California Sen. Kamala Harris to be Joe Biden’s running mate.

The daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, Harris is the first Black and South Asian vice presidential candidate to be nominated on a major party ticket.

It’s a move that Sen. Jacky Rosen, Nevada Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall and state Sen. Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas, called historic during a virtual pre-convention event.

“At this moment in our history, we’re looking to our past and we’re determined to use that knowledge and that wisdom to change our future,” Rosen said.

Harris’ formal nomination comes during the week of the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. On Aug. 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, the final step necessary to amend the Constitution.

“Women earned that right. We earned it because we marched, we earned it because we protested and we lobbied the government for it and we still don’t take it for granted,” Rosen said.

Like past DNC events this week, Nevada politicians urged Democrats to organize and increase turnout during the November election.  

“We have to be sure that all eligible voters know their options of how to vote, that they exercise their right to vote and that every vote, every single vote, is counted,” Rosen said.

Spearman, a Black woman and member of the LGBTQ community, said that Americans should recognize “the history we’re making tonight.”

“We’re all standing on the shoulders,” she said, of past civil rights figures like Harriet Tubman, Shirley Chisholm and Barbara Jordan.

“We are calling for justice to roll down like a mighty river and righteousness like a mighty stream,” Spearman said.

Harris was not the only history-making figure speaking at the convention on Wednesday. Former President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke at the virtual event, stressing the need to defeat President Donald Trump and emphasizing what they see as fundamental threats to the nation’s democracy under the current administration.

Harris, in her prepared remarks, said the nation is at a critical point, struggling under Trump’s “chaos,” “incompetence” and “callousness.”

“We can do better and deserve so much more,” Harris said. “We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work. A president who will bring all of us together — Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.