Houston leaders react to Joe Biden picking Kamala Harris as running mate

Joe Biden has picked California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate for the November election. If elected, Harris would become the first Black and South Asian woman to be elected as Vice President of the U.S.

"I know there are a lot of tears across America in the eyes of African American women and women of color. Finally, we've been affirmed and we've been given our status in this country. We're now equal to anyone else," said Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Lee describes feeling invigorated by Tuesday’s historic news that Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden has selected California Senator Kamala Harris as his VP running mate.

MORE: Joe Biden taps Kamala Harris as running mate

The 55-year-old is now the first Black and South Asian woman on a major party ticket. 

Harris is a long-time prosecutor and has worked side-by-side with Congresswoman Lee in the past. The two also happen to be members of the prominent Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.”  

"She is one of my sisters, if you will, wearing pink and green. But she represents and will represent all people. I see that in her when we work together on criminal justice reform," Lee said. 
Former Super-neighborhood leader and FOX 26 What's Your Point Panelist Tomaro Bell says Biden’s historic pick reaffirms the work of long-time civil rights activists like the late congressman John Lewis.     

"At a time like this. We need inspiration and I'll tell you somebody who's looking down from heaven and grinning from ear to ear. And this is the great Congressman John Lewis," Bell said. 

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Additionally, with a more than two-decade age gap between the two, Bell believes it’s also a strategic move to boost his campaign.

"You gotta remember that that's a generation difference between her and Biden. And this is a way for him to engage the younger Americans who had been disenfranchised, who had not been involved. This is a way of getting them involved. So many young girls who feel that they couldn't, wouldn't and they shouldn't. Now they know not only that they can, but you will. And this is such an echo for success," Bell said.

Although once one of Biden’s biggest critics on the debate stage, political analyst Mark Jones believes Harris’s long list of credentials makes her a qualified fill-in, if necessary.

"Her experience as a Senator and her long-tenure as Attorney General of California make her the most experienced and the most able of the potential nominees to step in as president if Joe Biden is incapacitated. And since he’s going to be 78 when he assumes office in January, there is a greater than 0 chance that at some point over the next 4 years, Kamala Harris is going to have to step in as the next president of the United States," Jones said. 

Biden and Harris are expected to make their first public appearance as running mates on Wednesday.