“It is an honor to be considered as a potential running mate but I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration,” she said in a statement on Thursday. “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.”
Cortez Masto’s statement confirms what she told CBS News in November — that if asked she would say no.
“I’ve admired Senator Cortez-Masto as long as I have known her because she’s a leader with integrity,” Biden said in a statement.
Cortez Masto replaced former senator Harry M. Reid in 2016. Reid released a statement about her decision not to vie for the vice president slot, calling her a “truly gifted leader who always puts Nevada first, and I will continue supporting her however I can.”
Cortez Masto was seen as a smart pick for Biden to ingratiate himself with Latino voters, a group he has struggled to win over during the Democratic primaries. Her decision to withdraw herself from consideration leaves Biden with at least one other potential Latina pick, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Biden has committed to picking a woman as his No. 2. Minority communities have called on him to pick a woman of color.
Others believed to be contenders include, Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), as well as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Val Demings (Fla.) and former Georgia state representative Stacey Abrams.
Biden said Wednesday during a virtual fundraiser that he planned to announce his choice by Aug. 1. He said he was looking for someone who aligned with him ideologically but who would also challenge him.