ABC NewsBY: BEATRICE PETERSON, ABC News
(MIAMI) — Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, are in the key battleground state of Florida on Thursday to target Black and Jewish voters just days after Harris’ first in-person campaign event in Wisconsin.
The trip will include Emhoff’s first in-person campaign event since former Vice President Joe Biden announced Harris as his running mate.
Harris met with Biden campaign surrogate Anna Navarro during a visit to Amaize Latin Flavors, a fast casual Venezuelan restaurant in Doral. During her stop, Harris greeted diners and staff and picked up large bags of takeout.
Later in the day, Harris will hold a community conversation with community leaders including fellow members Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Black Greek sorority of which Harris is a member, along with past regional president, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, and Miami Shores Mayor Crystal Wagar, at Florida Memorial University. The women will discuss the challenges that African Americans face in South Florida at the historically Black university in Miami Gardens.
Later in the day, Harris will hold a community conversation with fellow members Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Black Greek sorority of which Harris is a member, along with past regional president, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, and Miami Shores Mayor Crystal Wagar, at Florida Memorial University. The women will discuss the challenges that African Americans face in South Florida at the historically Black university in Miami Gardens.
Before the discussion, Harris was greeted by Florida Memorial University’s marching band called The Roar, which played three songs.
At the same time as Harris’ event, Emhoff, who is Jewish, will hold a community conversation Jewish leaders at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center in Miami. Emhoff will be joined by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and several local rabbis to talk about issues important to the Jewish community.
Emhoff is not new to campaigning as he was often on the trail during Harris’ primary race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In late August, Emhoff took a leave of absence from his law firm DLA Piper. Since then, Emhoff has headlined several Zoom calls and fundraisers, including a Lawyers for Biden Virtual Conversation with Emhoff and Harris’ brother-in-law Tony West on Wednesday. That event alone raised $960,000, according to organizers.
Emhoff said if he becomes the “first second gentleman” he will focus on issues involving access to justice, which he became interested in as a young lawyer.
“When I first went to court, and I would go into the Superior Court in Los Angeles downtown and I was shocked to see just lining the halls, just people…just tugging at my — at the time, double-breasted jacket to say you know, `Help. Help.’ It was just so impactful.”
He added: “So for 30 years this has been sticking with me, how some are able to hire these amazing lawyers and many aren’t.”
While Thursday’s events mark the couple’s first time campaigning in person in the Sunshine State since joining the Biden campaign, it isn’t the first time Harris has targeted Miami. In late August, Harris participated in the launch of the Biden-Harris campaign initiative focused on Latino-owned small businesses dubbed Nuestros Negocios, Nuestro Futuro, which translates to Our Businesses, Our Future.
The bilingual event was a virtual roundtable discussion focused on Miami, with Harris, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and local business owners highlighting the difficulties of running a business amid the pandemic and the role of Latino business owners in job creation and boosting the economy. The first of a series of events will also call on business owners to ensure that people in communities they serve are registered to vote.
ABC News’ Averi Harper contributed to this report.
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