Speculation about who presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden will choose to be his vice president has heated up in recent weeks, but at least one prospective name can now be crossed off the list.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) abruptly quit the contest, withdrawing her name from Biden’s consideration on Thursday.
One less candidate
“I support Joe Biden 100 percent and will work tirelessly to help get him elected this November,” Cortez Masto said. “It is an honor to be considered as a potential running mate but I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration.”
“Nevada’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis, and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get back on their feet,” she explained in the statement.
Cortez Masto gained national attention in 2016 as the first Latina to win a Senate seat. She is also said to have strong ties with the Biden family, having worked closely with Biden’s eldest son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, before his untimely death.
Cortez Masto was one of nearly a dozen women said to be in competition for Biden’s running mate, a dark horse candidate that some were hoping had the potential to help Biden secure the Hispanic vote in November.
On to the next
Biden has committed to choosing a female running mate, and others said to be in the running for the position include high-profile female leaders such as failed presidential candidates Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Several other slightly less prominent candidates include failed gubernatorial hopeful Stacy Abrams, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Rep. Val Demings (R-FL).
Biden has faced increasing pressure to choose a woman of color as his VP, especially since his wildly insensitive “you ain’t black” comment last week.
However, he said on Tuesday that he’s not ready to commit to narrowing the field that much, telling CNN’s Dana Bash that “There’s a lot of really qualified women that are ready to be president, but I’m not making that commitment.”
Biden told supporters during a recent virtual fundraiser that he plans to announce his choice for VP on August 1.
“We’re in the process of deciding the basic cut — about whether or not they really want it. Are they comfortable? They’ve asked a lot of questions,” Biden said on Wednesday.