Vice-president elect Kamala Harris waited until the last minute, but the day has finally come.
Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday in preparation to take the position of vice president alongside President-elect Joe Biden, The Hill reported.
California’s Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, has already been appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to take Harris’ place.
While some labor unions and Latino organizations praised Padilla’s appointment, the appointment also drew criticism from some on the left who wanted Harris’ replacement to be a Black woman, according to The Hill.
Harris is the only Black woman currently in the Senate, and she was only the second Black woman ever to serve there.
Three Black senators will remain as Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock takes his seat after winning the runoff election in Georgia.
Harris will be the first female and the first Black vice president; after racially charged protests and riots over the summer, Biden pledged that he would appoint a Black woman as his running mate.
Harris will remain connected to Senate
After serving as California’s attorney general, Harris was elected to the Senate in 2016. She has not even completed her first term, leading some to question whether she has sufficient experience needed to be vice president, particularly because Biden might not last through his first term.
As vice president, Harris will still have a role in Congress. In fact, her role will be incredibly important because she will break any tie that arises, given the Senate’s new 50–50 Republican–Democrat status.
Politico reported that Harris does not plan to make a farewell speech as she departs, but that could be because she’s not really leaving.
“This is not a goodbye for Vice President-elect Harris,” a Harris aide told The Hill. “As she resigns from the Senate, she’s preparing to take an oath that will allow her to preside over it.”
Harris was known as the most radically left member of the Senate, even more so than self-declared socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Newsweek reports. As noted, Biden’s old age and potentially failing health could mean that Harris ends up becoming president of the United States before too long.