U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela had a role in the first night of the Democratic National Convention — a small role, but a role nonetheless.
Elected to Congress in 2012, the 34th District representative was asked to provide a prerecorded 30-second clip to be playing during the virtual convention, which kicked off Monday, as part of a video montage featuring other speakers as well.
“They asked me like a month ago,” Vela, D-Brownsville, said. “I’ve been involved with the (Joe Biden) campaign so early I guess that’s why they did. I didn’t go looking for it, you know?”
Vela said he and U.S Rep. Cedric Richmond were the first members of Congress to endorse Biden, back in May.
“I was quite confident that he was the candidate that was going to come out of the primary,” Vela said. “I like to be with the winning candidate. That was part of the equation as well, and I just think his experience as vice president. I think the timing is right for Joe Biden to be our nominee.”
He said he thinks Biden made the right pick in Sen. Kamala Harris to be his vice president, which Vela said she proved in her first speech as Biden’s running mate.
“I think her performance (Aug. 12) was exemplary,” Vela said. “I think she was down-to-earth and very poised.”
Even though it was just a cameo, Vela said that “of course it’s an honor,” to be asked by the convention’s organizers to take part.
“I’m just glad to be part of an historic moment, both in terms of Vice President Biden’s nomination as the Democratic candidate for the presidency, and now with the prospect of the first African American, Indian American, female vice presidential candidate.”
In his comments aired during Monday night’s convention segment, Vela predicted that “this time next year we will see progress like we have never before witnessed,” adding that “we will be a fairer and more just nation, one that we can all be proud of.”