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New Mexico wildfire claims second life, while rain offers hope of relief

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New Mexico wildfire claims second life, while rain offers hope of relief
News

News

New Mexico wildfire claims second life, while rain offers hope of relief

2024-06-20 08:27 Last Updated At:08:30

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Heavy rain and hail fell Wednesday around an evacuated village in New Mexico threatened by wildfires that have killed at least two people and damaged more than 1,400 structures, offering the hope of some assistance for firefighters but adding the threat of high winds and flash floods.

Air tankers dropped water and red retardant earlier on the pair of fires growing in a mountainous part of the state where earlier in the week residents of the village of Ruidoso were forced to flee the larger of the two blazes with little notice.

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Deep Blue, a winning race horse who was evacuated from Ruidoso Downs, rests at a stall in Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Heavy rain and hail fell Wednesday around an evacuated village in New Mexico threatened by wildfires that have killed at least two people and damaged more than 1,400 structures, offering the hope of some assistance for firefighters but adding the threat of high winds and flash floods.

Race horses that were evacuated from Ruidoso Downs rest at a stall in Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Race horses that were evacuated from Ruidoso Downs rest at a stall in Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Drake Thurman, 13, volunteers to care for a race horse who was evacuated from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Drake Thurman, 13, volunteers to care for a race horse who was evacuated from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Trainer John Stinebaugh inspects his horses after evacuating them from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Trainer John Stinebaugh inspects his horses after evacuating them from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Trainer John Stinebaugh inspects his horses after evacuating them from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Trainer John Stinebaugh inspects his horses after evacuating them from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A couple from Ruidoso, N.M. camps at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds in Roswell, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A couple from Ruidoso, N.M. camps at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds in Roswell, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Ardis Holder, center, and her daughters Adalene, left, and Analece spend the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Ardis Holder, center, and her daughters Adalene, left, and Analece spend the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A Ruidoso resident checks a map on a screen while spending the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A Ruidoso resident checks a map on a screen while spending the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A Ruidoso resident sleeps at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A Ruidoso resident sleeps at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A car rides on the road to Roswell, N.M., as smoke from a wildfire partially blocks the sun near the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A car rides on the road to Roswell, N.M., as smoke from a wildfire partially blocks the sun near the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Steven Dobrovolskis eats a slice of pizza while spending the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Steven Dobrovolskis eats a slice of pizza while spending the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

An air tanker soars through a large plume of smoke over and around wildfire-affected areas in the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

An air tanker soars through a large plume of smoke over and around wildfire-affected areas in the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Residents of the Mescalero Apache Reservation rest while sheltering at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Residents of the Mescalero Apache Reservation rest while sheltering at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over a wildfire in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over a wildfire in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over a wildfire in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over a wildfire in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over smoke from a wildfire seen from the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over smoke from a wildfire seen from the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Residents of the Mescalero Apache Reservation rest while sheltering at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Residents of the Mescalero Apache Reservation rest while sheltering at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Smoke from the South Fork Fire reflects a pink hue during sunrise Tuesday, June 18, 2024 as law enforcement officers turn drivers away on State Road 48 at State 220 because of wildfires burning near Ruidoso, N.M. The South Fork Fire has consumed nearly 14,000 acres. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Smoke from the South Fork Fire reflects a pink hue during sunrise Tuesday, June 18, 2024 as law enforcement officers turn drivers away on State Road 48 at State 220 because of wildfires burning near Ruidoso, N.M. The South Fork Fire has consumed nearly 14,000 acres. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over trees in Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over trees in Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over trees in Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over trees in Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

In this image taken from webcam footage provided by the Village of Ruidoso, smoke rises behind Ruidoso, N.M., on Monday, June 17, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (Village of Ruidoso Tourism Department via AP)

In this image taken from webcam footage provided by the Village of Ruidoso, smoke rises behind Ruidoso, N.M., on Monday, June 17, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (Village of Ruidoso Tourism Department via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over the mountains of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over the mountains of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

An air tanker drops fire retardant called slurry over and around wildfire-affected areas in the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

An air tanker drops fire retardant called slurry over and around wildfire-affected areas in the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

A helicopter collects water from Mescalero lake near the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., as authorities fight wildfires Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter collects water from Mescalero lake near the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., as authorities fight wildfires Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

New Mexico State Police spokesman Wilson Silver said Wednesday that officers discovered the skeletal remains of an unidentified second person in the driver seat of a burned vehicle. It's the second confirmed death in the blazes. The first fire victim was a badly burned 60-year-old man found by the side of the road near the popular Swiss Chalet Inn in Ruidoso.

Weather patterns were shifting Wednesday with moisture arriving from the Gulf of Mexico, said Bladen Breitreiter of the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque.

“It will be a challenging situation going into the late afternoon and evening,” said Breitreiter, who has been an incident meteorologist at past wildfires. “The potential for scattered to isolated thunderstorms could help, but it depends on where they hit. If the rain misses the fires, downward winds could cause problems for firefighters on the ground.”

He said rain could also lead to dangerous flash flooding in newly burned areas.

It wasn't immediately clear if the rain and hail that started around Ruidoso on Wednesday afternoon was falling on the fires themselves, or if it would slow their progress. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the area until later Wednesday evening.

The two fires remained at 0% containment Wednesday afternoon as crews used heavy equipment to build fire lines while water and retardant was dropped from the air, authorities said.

Officials said hundreds of firefighters were on the scene and watching to stop any spot fires that could flare up. More personnel from departments from around the region were continuing to arrive.

Ruidoso and much of the Southwest has been exceedingly dry and hot this spring. Those conditions, along with strong wind, whipped flames out of control Monday and Tuesday, rapidly advancing the South Fork Fire into the village. Along with homes and businesses, a regional medical center and the Ruidoso Downs horse track were evacuated.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's office confirmed one fatality as a result of the fire but said it had no further details.

About 1,400 structures have been destroyed or damaged, but it’s unclear how many were homes. A flyover to provide more accurate mapping and a better assessment of damage is being organized, Lujan Grisham said.

Ardis Holder left Ruidoso with her two young daughters, her gas tank nearly on empty as she prayed that they'd get out safely. She was sure the house she rented in the village she grew up in is gone, based on the maps she'd seen.

“We were already seeing where all the fire hit, it's everywhere,” she said late Tuesday from a shelter in nearby Roswell. “If there's something standing, that's awesome. But, if not, we were prepared for the worst.”

Lujan Grisham on Wednesday requested a major disaster declaration from President Joe Biden's administration that would free up federal funding for immediate housing and other assistance for the people affected.

“New Mexico has faced disaster before, but the scale of this emergency requires immediate federal intervention," she said.

The day before, she declared a county-wide state of emergency that extended to the neighboring Mescalero Apache Reservation where both fires started and deployed National Guard troops. That declaration unlocks additional funding and resources to manage the crisis.

Nationwide, wildfires have scorched more than 3,280 square miles (8,495 square kilometers) this year — a figure higher than the 10-year averages, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. About 20 wildfires currently burning are considered large and uncontained, including blazes in California and Washington state.

Lujan Grisham said the two southern New Mexico wildfires together have consumed more than 31 square miles (80 square kilometers). The exact causes of the blazes haven't been determined, but the Southwest Coordination Center listed them as human-caused.

Ruidoso and areas around Santa Fe and Española, New Mexico, have served as the backdrop this year for filming of a movie starring Matthew McConaughey and America Ferrera about the devastating 2018 wildfire in Paradise, California. That fire killed 85 people and nearly erased the community in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

While many older residents call Ruidoso home year-round, the population of around 7,000 people expands to about 25,000 during the warmer months, when people from hotter climates seek the cool of the leafy aspen trees, hiking trails and a chance to go fishing.

Nestled within the Lincoln National Forest, Ruidoso boasts nearby amenities including a casino, golf course and ski resort operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe. Horse races at the Ruidoso Downs also draw crowds as home to one of the sport’s richest quarter-horse competitions.

Lee reported from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Associated Press writers Sarah Brumfield in Washington, D.C.; Felicia Fonseca in Flagstaff, Arizona; Anita Snow in Phoenix; Rio Yamat and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas; and Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada, contributed to this report.

AP Ruidoso wildfires page: https://apnews.com/hub/ruidoso

Deep Blue, a winning race horse who was evacuated from Ruidoso Downs, rests at a stall in Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Deep Blue, a winning race horse who was evacuated from Ruidoso Downs, rests at a stall in Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Race horses that were evacuated from Ruidoso Downs rest at a stall in Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Race horses that were evacuated from Ruidoso Downs rest at a stall in Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Drake Thurman, 13, volunteers to care for a race horse who was evacuated from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Drake Thurman, 13, volunteers to care for a race horse who was evacuated from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Trainer John Stinebaugh inspects his horses after evacuating them from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Trainer John Stinebaugh inspects his horses after evacuating them from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Trainer John Stinebaugh inspects his horses after evacuating them from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Trainer John Stinebaugh inspects his horses after evacuating them from Ruidoso Downs to Artesia, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A couple from Ruidoso, N.M. camps at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds in Roswell, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A couple from Ruidoso, N.M. camps at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds in Roswell, N.M., Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into the mountain village of Ruidoso, forcing residents to flee. One person was killed and hundreds of structures were damaged. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Ardis Holder, center, and her daughters Adalene, left, and Analece spend the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Ardis Holder, center, and her daughters Adalene, left, and Analece spend the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A Ruidoso resident checks a map on a screen while spending the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A Ruidoso resident checks a map on a screen while spending the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A Ruidoso resident sleeps at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A Ruidoso resident sleeps at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A car rides on the road to Roswell, N.M., as smoke from a wildfire partially blocks the sun near the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A car rides on the road to Roswell, N.M., as smoke from a wildfire partially blocks the sun near the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Steven Dobrovolskis eats a slice of pizza while spending the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Steven Dobrovolskis eats a slice of pizza while spending the night at a shelter in Roswell, N.M., after evacuating from Ruidoso, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

An air tanker soars through a large plume of smoke over and around wildfire-affected areas in the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

An air tanker soars through a large plume of smoke over and around wildfire-affected areas in the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Residents of the Mescalero Apache Reservation rest while sheltering at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Residents of the Mescalero Apache Reservation rest while sheltering at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over a wildfire in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over a wildfire in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over a wildfire in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over a wildfire in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over smoke from a wildfire seen from the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter flies over smoke from a wildfire seen from the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Residents of the Mescalero Apache Reservation rest while sheltering at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Residents of the Mescalero Apache Reservation rest while sheltering at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Smoke from the South Fork Fire reflects a pink hue during sunrise Tuesday, June 18, 2024 as law enforcement officers turn drivers away on State Road 48 at State 220 because of wildfires burning near Ruidoso, N.M. The South Fork Fire has consumed nearly 14,000 acres. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Smoke from the South Fork Fire reflects a pink hue during sunrise Tuesday, June 18, 2024 as law enforcement officers turn drivers away on State Road 48 at State 220 because of wildfires burning near Ruidoso, N.M. The South Fork Fire has consumed nearly 14,000 acres. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over trees in Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over trees in Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over trees in Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over trees in Ruidoso, N.M., Monday, June 17, 2024. Residents of the mountain village of about 7,000 residents fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings. (Jacquie Escajeda via AP)

In this image taken from webcam footage provided by the Village of Ruidoso, smoke rises behind Ruidoso, N.M., on Monday, June 17, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (Village of Ruidoso Tourism Department via AP)

In this image taken from webcam footage provided by the Village of Ruidoso, smoke rises behind Ruidoso, N.M., on Monday, June 17, 2024. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings. (Village of Ruidoso Tourism Department via AP)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over the mountains of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Smoke from a wildfire rises over the mountains of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

An air tanker drops fire retardant called slurry over and around wildfire-affected areas in the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

An air tanker drops fire retardant called slurry over and around wildfire-affected areas in the village of Ruidoso, N.M., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

A helicopter collects water from Mescalero lake near the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., as authorities fight wildfires Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

A helicopter collects water from Mescalero lake near the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Ruidoso, N.M., as authorities fight wildfires Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Thousands of residents fled their homes as a wildfire swept into the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Vice President Kamala Harris is being thrust into the most scrutinizing of spotlights, suddenly the leading candidate to succeed President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and her party’s main hope of defeating Donald Trump.

She spoke Monday at a White House celebration with the NCAA championship teams, her first appearance since Biden announced he was leaving the race.

Follow the AP’s Election-2024 coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

Here's the Latest:

Vice President Kamala Harris is heading to Delaware to meet with staffers of the reelection campaign that President Joe Biden gave up.

Her office says Harris will hold a “campaign engagement” in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday afternoon. Biden reelection campaign headquarters occupies space in two buildings there.

Biden endorsed Harris shortly after announcing he was leaving the presidential race. The campaign announced raising $49.6 million in the hours after his announcement.

Harris is not yet the formal Democratic presidential nominee, but top party elected officials and donors, as well as labor unions and leading advocacy groups, have endorsed her.

U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle faced a storm of bipartisan criticism at a congressional hearing Monday, with many lawmakers asking why she had not yet resigned from her job in the wake of the assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump.

The director, who’s spent nearly three decades combined at the agency, remained defiant that she was the “right person” to lead the agency despite overseeing the “most significant operational failure” in decades.

Even so, both Republicans and Democrats pushed Cheatle on why she wasn’t more forthcoming with details about what went wrong on July 13 or how she would ensure it never happens again.

“Tell us what went wrong!” Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, yelled at Cheatle. “Tell us and don’t try to play a shell game with us.”

Vice President Kamala Harris says President Joe Biden’s list of accomplishments are “unmatched in modern history.”

In her first public remarks since Biden announced he was leaving the presidential race, Harris made no comment of her own presidential candidacy.

Speaking at a Monday event with NCAA athletes on the lawn of the White House that Biden missed as he recovers from COVID-19, Harris said that Biden, in one term, got more done than many two-term presidents.

“I am firsthand witness that every day, our President Joe Biden fights for the American people,” she said. “And we are deeply, deeply grateful for his service to our nation.”

David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said Biden’s withdrawal and his endorsement of Harris doesn’t simply erase concerns about Biden but elevates Harris as a motivating, tested national candidate who’s grown while in office.

“Democrats didn’t have a chance on Sunday and now they have a chance,” Axelrod told The Associated Press Monday. “It’s really that simple.”

“I think that it’s a different race now because she has maybe some of his liabilities and she may have some of her own,” Axelrod said. “But no one judges her as too old, or unfit in that way.”

The electoral map stays essentially the same, with Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin being the most pivotal states, he said. And within them, Harris will motivate in particular younger voters, Axelrod said.

But Harris faces the daunting task of launching a campaign and building one at the same time. “Which is hard, but it can be done,” Axelrod said.

In the central city of Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians coping with more than nine months of the devastating Israel-Hamas war say they feel indifferent about Biden’s withdrawal from the presidential election.

“We feel the United States is a partner in the assault on Gaza,” Hassan Shaqalieh told The Associated Press. “The news that matters the most to us is the end of the war.”

Biden in May presented a deal that aims to end the war in Gaza and return the Israeli hostages the Palestinian group Hamas kidnapped in their surprise attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7, but Washington is Israel’s biggest political and military ally.

Hamza Fayyad who was displaced from the southern city of Khan Younis, says there has been no trust in Washington for the Palestinian people’s aspiration to a state and end to Israel’s occupation in the Palestinian territories.

“Someone bad leaves, only for someone worse to come in,” he said.

China’s foreign ministry on Monday said it had no comment on Biden’s exit from the presidential race, citing that “the presidential elections are the U.S.′ own affairs.”

The official Xinhua news agency, however, opined that it “once again exposed the ugly reality of U.S. politics.”

“Biden’s withdrawal once again expose the chaos and the essence of U.S. politics where partisan interests rule supreme and money drives elections,” Xinhua said in an editorial.

The second-term Democratic governor from one of the most-contested presidential states said in a news release Monday, “Today, I am fired up to endorse Kamala Harris for President of the United States.”

Whitmer continued, “In Vice President Harris, Michigan voters have a presidential candidate they can can count on to focus on lowering their costs, restoring their freedoms, bringing jobs and supply chains back from overseas, and building an economy that works for working people.”

Whitmer had been mentioned as a potential Democratic presidential prospect.

“So Michigan, let’s go to work,” Whitmer said. “We cannot let Donald Trump anywhere near the White House. Let’s go!”

The director of the Secret Service says the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump was the agency’s “most significant operational failure” in decades.

Director Kimberly Cheatle told lawmakers Monday during a congressional hearing: “On July 13, we failed.” Cheatle says she takes full responsibility for the agency’s missteps related to the attack at Trump’s Pennsylvania rally earlier this month.

Additional endorsements Monday, including Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, left a dwindling list of potential rivals to Vice President Kamala Harris as she moves to lock up Democratic delegates behind her campaign for the White House.

Winning the nomination is only the first item on a staggering political to-do list for her after Biden’s decision to exit the race, which she learned about on a Sunday morning call with the president. If she’s successful at locking up the nomination, she must also pick a running mate and pivot a massive political operation to boost her candidacy instead of Biden’s with just over 100 days until Election Day.

The Secret Service director is set to testify Monday before a congressional committee as calls mount for her to resign over security failures at a rally where a 20-year-old gunman attempted to assassinate former President Donald Trump.

The House Oversight Committee hearing will be Director Kimberly Cheatle’s first appearance before lawmakers since the July 13 Pennsylvania rally shooting that left one spectator dead.

Lawmakers have been expressing anger over how the gunman could get so close to the Republican presidential nominee when he was supposed to be carefully guarded.

As President Joe Biden was deciding to withdraw from the race Sunday morning, Vice President Kamala Harris had multiple phone conversations with him, according to a person familiar who spoke only on background to more freely divulge details.

Harris was at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington. She was surrounded by family and staff and wore a hooded Howard University sweatshirt, workout sweats and sneakers, the person said.

She spent 10-plus hours Sunday placing calls to more than 100 party leaders, members of Congress, governors, labor leaders, and leaders of advocacy and civil rights organizations. Harris told all that she was grateful Biden endorsed her upon leaving the race but she planned to earn the Democratic presidential nomination in her own right.

The vice president also called her pastor, Amos Brown III, who, along with his wife, prayed over her.

Harris arranged lunch and dinner for assembled aides. They ate afternoon sandwiches and salad and pizza in the evening. Harris’ pizza had anchovies, which the person said is her go-to topping.

— Will Weissert

“The vice president is smart and strong, which will make her a good president,” Beshear said during a Monday morning appearance on MSNBC. “But she’s also kind and has empathy, which can make her a great president.”

Beshear praised Harris’ resume as a former prosecutor and says she’s ready to assume the presidency. He says he’s willing to do everything he can to support her.

Asked if he’s open to potentially joining the ticket, Beshear said he loves his job as governor. “The only way I would consider something other than this current job is if I believed I could further help my people and to help this country,” he said.

Beshear defeated Trump-endorsed Republicans to win the governorship in 2019 and to win reelection last year in his Republican-leaning state.

Speaking on Monday to CBS, the West Virginia Democrat-turned-independent said “I don’t need that in my life.”

Manchin had been the latest senator to call for Biden to exit the 2024 race before Sunday’s announcement by Biden that he would do just that.

Manchin had already mulled a late-breaking 2024 White House bid of his own but said in February after a listening tour that he didn’t want to be a “spoiler.” As a Democrat, he had often bucked his own party’s leadership.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Xavier Bettel praised President Joe Biden for his announcement that he’s ending his bid for reelection.

“It takes courage for a politician to say ‘I’m a bit old and I’m not capable of doing it anymore,’” Bettel said, describing it as a “courageous and difficult decision” by Biden.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, endorsed Harris and called her “an unwavering champion for families, workers and justice.”

Gillibrand, who ran against Harris in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, said in a statement Monday that the vice president is “incredibly well-qualified, with experience as a prosecutor, as a lawmaker, and as a leader on the world stage.”

“Now is the time to unite,” the senator said. “VP Harris has the grit and toughness to beat Donald Trump and I’m eager to join her in this fight.”

ActBlue, the Democratic fundraising platform, announced that it had collected $46.7 million as of 9 p.m. ET from small-dollar donations for Vice President Harris’ campaign.

The Biden campaign and affiliated groups previously had about $96 million in cash on hand. The Republican National Convention, by contrast, reported a campaign fund of $102 million in June.

Donald Trump’s campaign has spent the last year and a half viciously attacking Joe Biden, ridiculing his policies, mocking his fumbles and relishing a rematch they felt they were winning.

But it has also spent weeks preparing for the possibility that he might exit the race, readying a bevy of attacks against Vice President Kamala Harris that it unleashed as soon as Biden made his stunning announcement Sunday that he would step aside.

Biden soon after endorsed Harris, who was quickly winning support from Democrats to be the party’s nominee.

The shakeup less than four months before Election Day lays out new challenges for Trump’s team, which had until recently been focused on contrasting the former president’s vigor and mental acuity with Biden’s.

Read more about the Trump campaign's pivot toward Harris.

The Democratic delegations of multiple states have decided to back Vice President Kamala Harris for the party nomination at next month’s national convention.

“Tonight, all 168 delegates of the North Carolina Democratic Party made history,” North Carolina party chair Anderson Clayton said in a post on the social platform X.

In South Carolina, party chair Christale Spain said in an email statement Sunday night that that state’s delegation met virtually. The vice president “has been fully vetted, and she has earned our unwavering support,” Spain said.

Harris received her first delegates earlier in the day from Tennessee, when the state party posted on X that its delegation voted during a meeting to back her.

Another state where the switch was made was New Hampshire, where the 25 pledged delegates voted unanimously Sunday night to endorse Harris.

The nation’s six Black state attorneys general threw their support behind Vice President Harris. In a statement on X, they laid out her qualifications and said she “has staunchly defended our right to choose and preserved our most sacred right to vote. There is no one more qualified to lead and continue to uphold the values of our great nation.”

The statement listed Letitia James, New York; Kwame Raoul, Illinois; Anthony Brown, Maryland; Andrea Campbell, Massachusetts; Keith Ellison, Minnesota; and Aaron Ford, Nevada.

FILE - Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, June 13, 2017, in Washington. She's already broken barriers, and now Vice President Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden's ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, June 13, 2017, in Washington. She's already broken barriers, and now Vice President Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden's ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, carry a sign before a campaign event, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, carry a sign before a campaign event, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, hold signs in the audience at a campaign event, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, hold signs in the audience at a campaign event, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak before Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak before Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Mattia Crovino, of Bologna, Italy, watches a news broadcast announcing that President Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House, Sunday, July 21, 2024,. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Mattia Crovino, of Bologna, Italy, watches a news broadcast announcing that President Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House, Sunday, July 21, 2024,. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Anna Filipic, of Washington, holds her daughter Louisa Monje, 2, outside the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024, as they show support for President Joe Biden. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Anna Filipic, of Washington, holds her daughter Louisa Monje, 2, outside the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024, as they show support for President Joe Biden. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

George Ledbetter watches news of President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race for the White House at They Say Restaurant in Harper Woods, Mich., Sunday, July 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

George Ledbetter watches news of President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race for the White House at They Say Restaurant in Harper Woods, Mich., Sunday, July 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A news crawl appears on the side of the Fox News building in New York, Sunday, July 21, 2024, in the wake of President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race for the White House. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

A news crawl appears on the side of the Fox News building in New York, Sunday, July 21, 2024, in the wake of President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race for the White House. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A view of the White House is seen in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024. President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

A view of the White House is seen in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024. President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris embraces President Joe Biden after a speech on healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., March. 26, 2024. President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, July 21, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris embraces President Joe Biden after a speech on healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., March. 26, 2024. President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, July 21, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley, File)

A handmade sign for Vice President Kamala Harris appears on a lawn, Sunday, July 21, 2024, in Washington. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A handmade sign for Vice President Kamala Harris appears on a lawn, Sunday, July 21, 2024, in Washington. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Balloons for President Joe Biden are brought to the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Balloons for President Joe Biden are brought to the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Hugh Kieve, 10, of Washington, holds a sign outside the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024, as he and his family come out to show support for President Joe Biden. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Hugh Kieve, 10, of Washington, holds a sign outside the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024, as he and his family come out to show support for President Joe Biden. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

FILE - President Joe Biden arrives for the NATO summit in Washington, July 10, 2024. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, July 21, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

FILE - President Joe Biden arrives for the NATO summit in Washington, July 10, 2024. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, July 21, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at an event May 1, 2024, in Jacksonville, Fla. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at an event May 1, 2024, in Jacksonville, Fla. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

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