Vice President Kamala Harris will not attend her scheduled visit to the University of Wisconsin-Madison this week and instead will travel to California for the funeral of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who died last week.
The trip, originally planned for Wednesday, is part of a months-long college tour intended to mobilize young people on key issues including reproductive rights, gun safety and climate action. Surveys have repeatedly shown younger voters ranking those issues as among the most important to them, according to The Washington Post, which the Biden administration aimed to capitalize on during Harris’s trip.
Harris will instead visit her home state for funeral services Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco. Feinstein, who died last week at 90, was the oldest member of the U.S. Senate and Harris’ partner when they both served as California’s senators from 2017 to 2021.
Harris called Feinstein “one of the greatest public servants” that California and the country had ever known in a statement Friday.
While the Madison visit is expected to be rescheduled, White House officials did not immediately confirm that the rescheduled visit would take place on campus.
Harris’ trip would have marked the Biden administration's fourth visit to Wisconsin, a deep-purple state where students played an outsized role in recent statewide elections.
In the 2020 presidential election, Biden won Wisconsin by fewer than 21,000 votes out of over 3.2 million cast, flipping a state that had went for Trump in 2016 by similar numbers. Over 24,000 UW-Madison students voted in the 2020 presidential election.
“It is young leaders throughout America who know what the solutions look like and are organizing in their communities to make them a reality,” Harris said in a press release when her visit was first announced. “My message to students is clear: we are counting on you, we need you, you are everything.”
Gavin Escott is a senior staff writer and photographer for multiple desks at The Daily Cardinal. Throughout his time at the Cardinal, he's written articles for city, state, campus and breaking news. He is the current host/producer of the Cardinal Call podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @gav_escott.