SALT LAKE CITY — The Democratic vice presidential nominee, California Sen. Kamala Harris, is already in Utah for Wednesday night’s debate with Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah.

Harris, the first Black woman and first Asian American on a major-party presidential ticket, toured This Is the Place Heritage Park Saturday morning. She arrived in Salt Lake City Friday night after a campaign stop in Las Vegas and is expected to remain in the state through the debate.

“Look at that. When you think about the spirit of America, including the pioneers here, that is so much of the fabric of this nation. They were essentially immigrants. They were fleeing persecution. They were fighting for religious freedom,” the senator said at the park honoring Mormon pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Part of the spirit was shoulder to the wheel, which is really about everything that I think we’re talking about right now in America,” she said. “Let’s put our shoulders to the wheel. Let’s do the work that is necessary and continue to fight for our ideals and our values and in this case what they fought for so many years ago, which was for freedom and to hold our country accountable for the values we say we hold dear.”

She was accompanied on the tour by Scott Howell, a former Democratic leader of the state Senate and a key surrogate for the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden. Both Harris and Howell wore face masks as they talked about the pioneer monument.

“Wow,” Harris said as she looked at the stone obelisk featuring a statue of Brigham Young, who led members of the church into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. “So this is the place? Isn’t that something,” she said after reading the monument plaques.

The senator is expected to focus on preparing for the debate during the rest of her time in Utah.

It is not clear when Pence will arrive in Utah for the 90-minute vice presidential debate that begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Kingsbury Hall. The vice president had also planned on coming to Utah early to hold campaign events but that is no longer likely because President Donald Trump is hospitalized with COVID-19.