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A Saturday morning update from Pennsylvania election officials tipped the scale to the point of no return, making former Vice President Joe Biden the next president-elect.

The race was called by most major networks, including Fox News, in the hour before 9 a.m. Saturday, four long days after Nov. 3.

Pennsylvania, with remaining mail-in and provisional ballots overwhelmingly swinging to Biden’s favor, was the final straw in a tight and historically contentious battle for the White House. Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes were a necessity for a Trump win, but that possibility disappeared as Biden’s lead in the state grew in excess of a 34,000-vote lead.

Biden has now secured 273 projected electoral votes versus Trump’s 214 and has run away with the popular vote by a margin of more than 4.1 million.

As Biden heads to the White House, he brings with him a vice president who will serve as the first woman in that role. Sen. Kamala Harris will also be the first woman of color and first Bay Area native to occupy that honored position.

Biden was far from a progressive favorite during the primary season, but he emerged as a safe, centrist choice for this particular moment. And since he locked up the party nomination, he’s met the moment head on as a unifying voice of reason and empathy the nation has sorely missed in the years of Trump’s presidency.

Biden’s road to the Oval Office has been long and sometimes arduous , both professionally and personally. The 77-year-old Democrat has endured more than his share of loss, but he channels that pain to relate to others. Born in Pennsylvania, Biden went on to serve nearly five decades between his roles as senator and later vice president during the Obama administration.

In that time, he also made his share of mistakes, a point he readily admits, acknowledging when he didn’t always get it right. But, in stark contrast to Trump, he apologizes often for errors and strives to make them right. Essentially, Biden has evolved and grown to be a seasoned and measured man of integrity and compassion.

He and Harris will step into an incredibly challenging situation, with a current president who refuses to concede and who incites rage and violence among his supporters. They will be tasked with healing the wounds and moving forward to tackle the country’s biggest issues: the growing Covid-19 pandemic, the devastated economy and climate change that now threatens our daily lives with fires and extreme weather.

But, Biden and Harris know what lies ahead say they are ready to go to work, and the country is ready for a team that will step up to do the job.

Nik Wojcik

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