Sanders' Protégé Leading DNC Chair Race, Gets Friendly Trump Tweet

Malcolm Fuller
February 24, 2017

South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison is ending his bid to be the leader of the national Democratic party. We need to renew our commitment to strengthening our grass-roots infrastructure to take on President Trump and the Republicans.

However, dig a little deeper, and it's easy to find separation.

While Keith Ellison is a shew-in to become the next DNC president when elections are held on Saturday, February 25, according to NBC News, his one unexpected ally is Donald Trump.

As result, several distinct candidates emerged to make their case for running the DNC, including Buttigeig, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

Both men talk tough about taking on the president and his policies.

Ellison said Trump's actions so far "legitimately raise the question of impeachment".

Harrison said, "I am confident because we have a candidate for DNC chair who can unite the Democratic Party behind the goal of enacting progressive change, a candidate who can take the fight to Donald Trump and rebuild our party infrastructure and a candidate whom I, as a voting member of the DNC, am proud to support: Tom Perez". "We have not adequately communicated why our Democratic values - freedom, fairness, family and the future - are American values". The previous chairperson, Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned after emails showed that the DNC had intervened in the 2016 primaries to assist Clinton against her challenger Senator Bernie Sanders.

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Perez and Ellison are at the forefront of an eight-candidate field. "This is just one area where the fight is playing out".

Perez, a Buffalo native, and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota are the leading contenders, he said. "So the bottom line is a hatred of trump will bring together any divided faction". Both candidates' paths to victory depended on a deadlock between Perez and Ellison, which might then lead DNC members to rally behind an alternative.

Harrison reportedly has the most DNC members' votes of any candidate besides the top two.

The rancour of the Democratic primaries previous year, and the circumstances of Schultz's resignation, has transformed the race into a proxy war between the Clinton and Sanders factions within the party.

Ellison's most formidable opponent is former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, called Trump a "computer virus in the American political system". "He knows elections are not won and lost in the beltway, but on the ground across the country". Former White House counsel to former President Bill Clinton.

In an interview in January, gay Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), the first vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told the Bay Area Reporter that Ellison would be able to excite the grassroots, similar to the support Sanders generated during the party's presidential primary race previous year. Hence why some commentators favour Ellison, whose election could be seen as a peace offering to aggrieved Sanderistas still fuming at the party for undermining their candidate. They appeared at a debate that aired Wednesday on CNN.

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