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2 Rising Stars Suddenly Seen as VP Contenders

Floyd protests raise prospects of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Rep. Val Demings
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2020 9:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – The George Floyd protests are quickly changing the calculus of Joe Biden's VP pick. Politico reports that two black women once seen as longshots are now serious contenders: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Florida Rep. Val Demings. Both have taken on large public roles during the protests. Demings, 63, has previously been vetted and Bottoms, 50, is undergoing the process now. An analysis at the Washington Post by Aaron Blake agrees. He's got Bottoms at No. 7 on a list of 11 (she didn't previously make the list), while Demings moved up from No. 7 to No. 6. In Blake's reckoning, another black woman, Sen. Kamala Harris, remains in the No. 1 position.

In both stories, the rise of Demings and Bottoms has corresponded with the fall of Sen. Amy Klobuchar. While nobody is definitively ruling her out, Klobuchar's stock has fallen because of her record as a prosecutor in the area where a Minneapolis police officer has been charged with murder in Floyd's death. Axios, meanwhile, interviewed Demings and asked her if she would accept the running mate position. "If he asks me, I will say yes," she responded. Biden has said he hopes to make his pick by early August. (Biden just had a milestone weekend.)

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