Sen. Bernie Sanders delegates in California sent Joe Biden a list of three Black female candidates they’d like to see the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee choose from as he names his running mate.

Not making their list – Sen. Kamala Harris, the former California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney who’s believed to be on the former vice president’s short list.


The letter instead listed Reps. Barbara Lee and Karen Bass of California – as well as former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a top political adviser to Sanders during both of his presidential bids and a national co-chair of his 2020 campaign. It was signed by 145 of the 153 Sanders delegates who voted on the suggestion, according to a report from The San Francisco Chronicle.

Biden in March announced he would name a female running mate. Since the outbreak of national protests over racism sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police two months ago, Biden’s repeatedly been urged to name an African American woman as the party’s vice presidential nominee.

But Harris – who made her own bid last year for the Democratic presidential nomination – has long faced skepticism from some progressives over her long career as a prosecutor at the municipal and state level.

Bass, who represents California’s 37th Congressional District in Los Angeles and who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, is reportedly also being considered by Biden. Neither Lee – a co-founder of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who represents the Oakland-anchored 13th Congressional District – nor Turner is believed to be among the roughly half-dozen finalists Biden and his team are vetting.

Sanders – the populist senator from Vermont who was making his second straight White House bid – edged Biden 34-27 percent in California’s March 3 presidential primary, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg each grabbing around 13 percent of the vote.

A little more than half of the state’s 495 delegates were awarded to Sanders.