Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Reportedly in Biden’s “Top 3” for VP

According to CNBC, Joe Biden is in the process of narrowing down his list of potential running mates, and his allies in the business community are weighing in with their favorite choices.

Since Biden announced earlier this month that he plans to pick a woman as his nominee for vice president, leaders of Wall Street, Silicon Valley and other industries have been reaching out to him and his presidential campaign about whom they think should join him on the ticket, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Some of these business leaders involved with the lobbying effort are fundraising for Biden’s campaign. They declined to be named in this story because these conversations were deemed private.

Biden said Tuesday that he is looking to cut down his list of potential running mates in order to begin the vetting process, but he would not say whom he is considering.

The names being floated and pushed to Biden by this group include Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, two of his former rivals in the primary; Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada; Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; and Florida Rep. Val Demings, these people added.

Mediaite reports former Senate Majority Leader and longtime Nevada powerbroker Harry Reid has in recent weeks told former vice president Joe Biden that he supports Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto as his vice presidential nominee, as part of an effort to give a shot in the arm to his Latino support as the general election comes into view, with Biden telling Reid that she is in his “top three” for the role, three sources confirmed to Mediaite.

Biden and Reid have been speaking regularly since the Nevada caucus, but Biden mentioning her as a top three vice presidential pick came up during the last week, a source with knowledge of the conversation said.

A source close to the Biden campaign said Biden has privately mentioned Cortez Masto as someone who would be on his shortlist for vice president and said he really likes and respects her, appreciates her intellect and leadership, and the history she made as the first Latina U.S. senator.

Critically, Reid is not just sharing his thoughts with Biden, but is someone whose counsel Biden heeds, with the campaign acknowledging internally that it must strengthen its support from Latino voters in an expected general election matchup with President Donald Trump, who doesn’t need to win the Hispanic vote, just erode margins enough in key states.

Reid has additionally encouraged a new behind the scenes effort to get national Latino advocacy groups to support Cortez Masto for vice president, because of the strong support within the party for other popular women senators, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who could energize progressives dispirited over Sen. Bernie Sanders flagging campaign, and Sen. Kamala Harris, who is among the black women powerful Biden ally Rep. Jim Clyburn has said Biden should choose from.

The Biden campaign did not dispute the conversations between Reid and Biden, but declined to address them or Cortez Masto as an option, saying only that Biden is familiar with the process of selecting a vice presidential candidate, having been through the process in 2008 and that it will run a vigorous vetting process. Speaking to donors on a Sunday fundraising call, Biden said he is considering at least seven women. “We are going to start vetting soon and there is a shortlist,” he told The View two days later.