With the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd occupying much of the nation’s attention in recent weeks, it’s easy to forget that this is still a presidential election year.
Former vice president Joe Biden officially clinched the Democratic nomination last week and will battle President Donald Trump for the presidency in November’s general election.
Right about now is when a challenger in a presidential race against an incumbent starts to finalize the choice for his or her running mate, also known as, the person who would be vice president, if elected.
Here’s a breakdown of where things stand with Biden’s vice presidential choice.
When will Biden decide on his running mate?
The self-imposed deadline for Biden is Aug. 1, which actually gives him more time than originally planned.
Usually, running mates are picked prior to national conventions being held, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Democratic National Convention -- originally scheduled for July in Milwaukee -- to be delayed until Aug. 17.
So, Biden still has the rest of June and all of July to sift through candidates and still meet his desired deadline.
What is Biden looking for in a candidate?
The most obvious aspect of the search is that the vice presidential candidate will be a woman.
Biden has already said as much.
But in the wake of the Floyd death that incited protests and racial tension around the country, more people are nudging Biden to pick a black woman as his running mate.
Many feel that not only would such a choice be a symbol of healing and unity, but it would also make history since a black woman has never been a vice presidential candidate.
Time will tell if Biden agrees, but many feel there’s no better time than now to choose a black woman.
Who is on the list of candidates being considered?
Below are names of eight candidates believed to be drawing the most serious interest from Biden, according to CNN. They are listed in alphabetical order.
Stacey Abrams - The former minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, Abrams is a black woman who has been a big proponent of having more people in minority communities register to vote for November.
Keisha Lance Bottoms - The mayor of Atlanta and a mother of four; her star has risen dramatically in recent weeks. Her impassioned speech on violence and protests following the death of Floyd gained a lot of national attention and put her on the short list of candidates.
Val Demings - A member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida, Demings is a black woman and the former police chief of Orlando who would be a great fit to help address police brutality issues that are on the minds of so many Americans.
Michelle Lujan Grisham - If Biden wants to have a Latina as his running mate, then the governor of New Mexico would be a logical choice.
Kamala Harris - The senator from California and candidate in the primary election raised a lot of eyebrows back in June when she challenged Biden at the first presidential debate for allegedly being complimentary of two U.S. senators she said built reputations on segregation of race. But all has evidently been forgiven, because the 55-year-old Harris is seen as the frontrunner to be Biden’s pick in the eyes of many. She is a black woman with lots of political experience in Washington and as the former attorney general of California.
Amy Klobuchar - The senator from Minnesota was an opponent of Biden’s as a presidential candidate in the primary, but is under consideration to stand by him on the Democratic presidential ticket.
Susan Rice - A black woman who served as the national security adviser and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former president Barack Obama, Rice is another candidate with plenty of experience.
Elizabeth Warren - One of Biden’s chief challengers to win the nomination during the primary, Warren is a popular choice for many Democrats to be alongside Biden.
Who should Biden pick? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.