Friday, 24 March, 2017

The DNC Just Picked Its New Chair

Lance Thomas | 26 February, 2017, 00:24

Perez was endorsed last week for former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who along with former president Barack Obama, is heading a new redistricting reform effort aimed at pumping resources into critical gubernatorial and state legislative races over the next four years.

"As Democrats, we must seek a leader who has demonstrated the ability to continue the fight to protect all that we hold dear as a nation", Lewis said. "I know we will win the battles ahead when we put our values forward, when we lead together". But he was a bit luckier the second time around as he received 235 votes over Ellison's 200.

"Right now we have to face the facts that we are suffering from a crisis of confidence, a crisis of relevance", Perez said to DNC members as he asked for their support.

So the task facing the next Democratic chairman - quite possibly former Labor Secretary and Snyder native Thomas E. Perez - is huge. "You will always have my ear and I will always have your back".

"We should at least show up" and work to field strong candidates in red states as well as blue ones, she said, noting that the DNC can help by investing in field organizers and state parties. "We don't have that luxury".

Perez's victory demonstrated the limitations of progressives and Bernie Sanders supporters within the Democratic Party structure.

Keith Ellison called for Democrats to speak out against anti-Semitism and to reject hatred of refugees during a debate for candidates to head the Democratic Party. Perez-considered the establishment favorite-fell a single vote short of the 214.5 votes needed to win the chairmanship during the first ballot round, in which 427 votes were cast.

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In addition to Ellison and Perez running for DNC chair, other candidates include South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigeig and Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown.

The stakes are high for a party still struggling to recover from the surprising November 8 loss of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and anxious to channel the growing grassroots resistance to Trump into political support for Democrats at all levels of government across the country.

"This is a conversation among siblings as to who should lead the party", Perez recently told Politico.

Their dual front-runner status was reaffirmed last week, when New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley dropped out of the race to endorse Ellison.

But first, what does the DNC chair even do? As such, with the unity of the party under strain, Perez immediately bringing Ellison into the fold is a strategically savvy move. And the number of Democratic state legislators nationwide plummeted by more than 1,000. Sam Ronan also withdrew but he had no votes, so it would not alter the outcome and said that he thought Perez or Ellison could do the job.

The race was also remarkably amicable, at least publicly.

No one in the room opposed the motion - or if they did, they didn't vocalize it.

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