On Tuesday, presumptive Democratic Nominee Joe Biden named his running mate: California Sen. Kamala Harris. Some Democrats in Douglas County see the pairing as a healing force for the nation, while Republicans say the duo won’t act in the community’s best interest.

Harris, who has served as a U.S. Senator for California since 2017, is the first woman of color to be nominated for vice president by a major political party. She was formerly the first woman and first African-American to serve as California’s Attorney General, according to her Senate website. Before that, she was the District Attorney for San Francisco.

Alana Lenihan, the Chair of Democratic Party of Oregon for Douglas County, said she is happy with Biden’s choice of running mate for November’s presidential election.

“I think (Harris has) been tough in the Senate, and her track record speaks for itself. And in the primary, the issues she stood for, will play well with the public in this election,” Lenihan said. “I think it will excite the Democrats in this county and give them more passion for this election, and hopefully energize them to get out the vote.”

Harris’ presidential primary bid ended in December of 2019. Her campaign emphasized racial and social justice. As the first Indian American U.S. Senator, she currently sits on several Senate committees, including the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

In the Senate, Harris has supported measures to raise the minimum wage and promote access to public health care. She also co-sponsored the Green New Deal, alongside Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

For Valynn Currie, the Republican Central Committee Chairperson in Douglas County, Harris’ progressive-leaning track record is cause for concern.

“She adds energy to Joe Biden’s campaign where there was none, but for America, it would be a horrible situation if Biden and her were elected,” Currie said.

Currie described Harris as a socialist and said she disagrees with the senator’s policies on gun control and abortion access. She also said the Biden campaign is against free speech.

“The socialism that it would bring in would be a negative influence on businesses in the county, and the gun control implemented federally would cause people to be up in arms,” Currie said. “It would create a lawlessness in the county if they take over and we end up with a socialist country. A lot of the freedoms that we now take for granted could be eliminated.”

Harris has faced criticism on both sides for her role as attorney general, where she worked toward criminal justice reform, but also opposed the use of body cameras on police and fought 2015 legislation that would require her to investigate police shootings, according to the Associated Press.

“I think that she’s two-faced, and I think that she has prosecuted people for minor things and then let some of the major things go,” Currie said.

Lupe Preciado-McAlister, a precinct committee person for the Democratic Party in Douglas County, said she sees Harris’ background as a strength. That background extends beyond her career.

“It’s the fact that she comes from immigrant parents. I myself am an immigrant,” Preciado-McAlister said.

Harris being the child of immigrants — her mother from India and her father from Jamaica — makes her inclusion in the campaign an important milestone for many Americans.

Preciado-McAlister, who sits on the Douglas County Fire District No. 2 rural fire board, said that Harris’ leadership could have a positive impact locally.

“Douglas County has a lot of criminal issues, and I think if we had sensitive commissioners who could put their differences aside and work with her, I think they could get a lot of things accomplished to help the police and sheriff’s department here locally,” Preciado-McAlister said.

Roger Snyder, a precinct committee person for the Republican Party in Douglas County, said he doesn’t think the Biden campaign will properly represent Douglas County, where 64.1% of the overall vote went to Donald Trump in 2016.

“I’m just proud of the president that we elected, and we really need him to continue the job he’s doing,” Snyder said.

Larry Hall, a precinct committee person for the Democratic Party in Douglas County, said he thinks Harris will be a good balance for Biden and is happy she will address diversity and women’s rights issues.

“It’s hard to predict Douglas County. They do tend to be very conservative, but I hope they do listen to the platform of the Biden-Harris ticket,” Hall said. “I think they can come across as healing and helping this incredible divide. I think that’s Biden’s strength: he is not a divider and he will look to work with the Republican Party.”

Abbey McDonald is the Charles Snowden intern at The News-Review. She can be reached at amcdonald@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4217.

React to this story:

13
2
2
1
8

(10) comments

Really?

When I read comments like this “I’m just proud of the president that we elected, and we really need him to continue the job he’s doing,” Snyder said, I have to wonder what country Snyder is referring to. The only thing that has been a positive is the stock market and that is for the people that are fortunate to be able to invest. The phenomenal rise is not based on trump’s outstanding business sense but on the fact that big business gets incredible tax breaks hence more profit which is then reflected on the market. Trump knows how to “stroke” the big boys and in turn they owe him. Yes, it is a name calling game more then ever now but after 4 years of the whining, tweeting, rudeness & nastiness it is now the norm. To try and smear Joe Biden with declarations of low moral fiber is UNBELIEVABLE since everyone Dems & GOPs alike know how creepy trump is. Trump has cheated on everything in his life from his marriages to business. He is insulting to women (Valynn), racist, corrupt, lies on a daily basis, hires prostitutes (ugh) and has threatened our county’s democracy in such a way that it will never be the same. Our Allies are now distant and our enemies are now becoming embedded into our county’s structure thanks to trump's fawning ways. What a difficult path it will be for Biden/Harris but it is the team America needs to get back to honesty, integrity and leave the insanity behind. BUILD BETTER BACK! Vote like your life depends on it because it does.

Rise722

Instead of personal attacks, let's talk policies. Trump has a great record for helping women, minorities, people with over-reaching prison sentences....I could go on....

Momos

White conservatives freak out at the idea that a smart, strong, woman with dark skin may be our President someday. How can any woman support Trump when he treats women like he does? How can you ignore the ugly reality of who Trump is? Valynn Currie, those direct questions are for you. And no deflecting.

NeverSocialism

You ask how a female can support Trump after accusations of his mistreatment of women? How about asking how Kamala can support Creepy Joe Biden after what he's been accused of? Multiple videos of him sniffing women? Ick. And numerous other assaults? She verbally attacked him during the debates. She said she believed the women and their accusations. She called him a racist and called him out on his anti-bussing stance. NOW, she is all lovey-dovey and looks at him with doe-eyes. It's beyond nauseating. How hypocritical. But that seems to be the way with the Democratic Party. Hillary looked the other way at all of Slick Willy's years of cheating but was throwing around the word misogynist during every single speech about Trump. I'm not saying Trump hasn't done some unsavory things towards women. He has. He's cheated on his wives and has probably hired a hooker or two (dozen). How many men or women who are being self-righteously indignant over his behavior is completely innocent? What about the rumor of Kamala's affair with married SF Mayor Willie Brown? Glass houses and stones don't fare well together. By the way, this has nothing to do with the color of her skin or that she may become president someday. Men are the warmongers. We do need women in charge. We need people like Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher, Condoleeza Rice, Tulsi Gabbard, Theresa May or Nikki Haley. I could continue but you should get the idea. There have been many "smart, strong women" and skin color should not be a reason to disqualify OR qualify a person for office. Before you label "white conservatives" as "freaking out" maybe you should actually talk to a few and stop watching CNN. PS. I didn't deflect, can you say Biden is Creepy and Kamala is a home-wrecker or are you going to deflect, Momos?

This message is brought to you by a (skin color is too stupid to include) conservative, working, intelligent, strong, middle-class, blue collar female.

Mic drop. lol

garyd

Do you remember way back in 2016 when his now pals Ted Cruz. Lindsey Graham and others called donny a womanizer, a liar, a bigot and several other choice names.

NeverSocialism

And your point is??? You're deflecting. You went back to the standard "well, what about him?" because you are incapable of calling out your candidate. I totally admitted that Trump is no angel but you can't do the same. Democrats are incapable of admitting that they have less than respectable people in office. The people you mentioned are not Trump's running mate. You can be certain that if Kamala would have won the nomination, no way in heck would Creepy Joe be her pick. Yet there she is, cuddled up to him. How long do you think the senile old nut will be in office before he has "an accident"? Sadly, very few of our politicians on either side are honest and respectable. They are not in office to be a public servant. They come out of office stinking rich and it's the shady backroom deals and kickbacks that they that they serve for. Either side of the aisle. I can say that members of my party are idiots. Starting at our local government, then state and Feds. There are some good too (but not local or state level). Do you have the ability to criticize your party or are you truly a snowflake? Come on, garyd, put on you big girl panties and call out your party. Admit that they're not all peaches and cream. I'm betting you can't and won't. It will be some lame "well, Trump said this or that". And that's just sad. Nothing will ever change as long ad there are lemmings.

garyd

No Never I think you deflected first. "How about asking how Kamala can support Creepy Joe Biden. How about some cool aid?

st paddy

i am not thrilled

CitizenJoe

Excellent choice. Great life story, superb experience as AG, running justice department larger than any except the US DOJ, consequential senator, and she makes the RWNJs' heads explode. Here is Joe Conason: "In the barrage of confused attacks on Harris, there is much to be learned about the psychopathology of the far right. The so-called conservatives have little interest in the senator’s actual record in public office or views on substantive issues, only in assaults on her background and character. Somehow, they miss the irony of calling her “nasty” while they launch hundreds of these vicious broadsides."

garyd

Valynn Currie, where can I find her prosecutorial records? I would be interested in viewing them as I would like to be an informed voter.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.