• Kamala Harris, Gretchen Whitmer and Susan Rice were seen as the frontrunners for the nomination
  • A group of prominent black men released a letter saying Biden will lost the election if he doesn't choose a Black woman for the No. 2 spot
  • An announcement was said to be imminent.

Anticipation grew Tuesday ahead of an expected midweek announcement on Democrat Joe Biden’s choice for a running mate amid renewed pressure to choose a Black woman.

The three leading contenders for the No. 2 spot on the Democratic presidential ballot were believed to be Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, and former U.N. Ambassador and national security adviser Susan Rice.

Also on the list of possibles are Reps. Val Demings of Florida and Karen Bass of California, Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

MSNBC reported Warren was scheduled to speak Wednesday night, the same night as the vice presidential acceptance speech while Harris and Duckworth were slated for the final night.

Biden promised to pick a woman as his running mate early in the campaign and to announce his choice ahead of the Democratic National Convention, which begins next Monday. Given his age, Biden’s choice is seen as critical to the effort to unseat President Trump.

CBS reported Biden had spoken to his top choices and an announcement was imminent. The campaign plans to announce the choice in text messages and alerts.

Pressure to select a Black woman – both Harris and Rice are Black – built with the release Monday of a strongly worded letter signed by 100 prominent Black men, including rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, actor Cedric “Cedric the Entertainer” Kyles and civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

“For too long Black women have been asked to do everything from rally the troops to risk their lives for the Democratic Party with no acknowledgment, no respect, no visibility, and certainly not enough support,” the letter said. “Failing to select a Black woman in 2020 means you will lose the election. We don’t want to choose between the lesser of two evils and we don’t want to vote the devil we know versus the devil we don’t because we are tired of voting for devils — period.”

Some 700 women, calling themselves as “Concerned Black Women Leaders,” sent a similar letter Friday.

The pressure comes amid widespread social unrest across the country, triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, who died as a white police officer knelt on his neck. Protests have been particularly intense in Portland, Oregon, where Trump sent in federal agents to protect the federal courthouse, making the violence worse.

On Monday, marauding gangs of young people vandalized Chicago’s ritziest shopping district, breaking store windows and looting contents.

With coronavirus restrictions limiting Biden’s visibility, his campaign was attempting to make a splash with the vice presidential announcement, including a major video. Biden teased his choice Saturday during a bicycle ride as a reporter asked him if he had made a decision. Biden answered, “You.” At a church service Sunday, his answer to the same question was, “Are you ready?”

(Updated at 1:12 p.m. EDT)