Tags: keith ellison | democratic national committee | chairman | dnc

Rep. Keith Ellison Launches Bid to Lead DNC

Image: Rep. Keith Ellison Launches Bid to Lead DNC

Rep. Keith Ellison (Photo by Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 Nov 2016 12:17 PM

Rep. Keith Ellison is the latest person to announce their run to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and the Minnesota Democrat is expected to be an early favorite to lead the party after its losses in the election, according to The Hill.

Ellison is part of a progressive side of the party that believes Democrats are out of touch with their base supporters and that the party strayed from their core values by nominating Hillary Clinton for president.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and progressive grassroots groups support Ellison, as do Senate Democratic leaders Harry Reid of Nevada and Charles Schumer of New York, the Hill reported.

NBC News reported that Ellison formally announced his candidacy for the job.

"When voters know what Democrats stand for, we can improve the lives of all Americans, no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation. To do that, we must begin the rebuilding process now," he said in a statement.

The party is likely to set a vote on the chairmanship for February. The Hill reported that former chairman Howard Dean and South Carolina's party chairman Jaime Harrison have announced their bids. Other potential candidates include Vice President Joe Biden and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who had a short-lived run for president.

Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman said that Dean, who led the party in the 2000s, represents the party's past.

"I'm not sure how forward-looking that is, but unfortunately we don't have a deep bench," Feldman told The Hill.

The race might shine a spotlight on the future of the party, The Hill's report said.

"I'm not writing any more checks so that insiders can decide what's best for the party. The Democratic Party is infested with insiders who are completely disconnected with what's going on and whose only concern is their own personal interests. We need new faces and new ideas, not warmed-over leftovers," Democratic fundraiser Dick Harpootlian said.

Ellison was an early supporter of Sanders' run at the presidency, and the party views him as being strongly connected to the party's base supporters. He is the first Muslim member of Congress, which Democrats could see as sending a message to Republican President-elect Donald Trump, whom many see as having sown racial discord.

Liberal activist and filmmaker Michael Moore called Ellison "the future" of the party, but some Some Democrats feel that the party should not hurry to appoint Ellison the new chairman.

"I love Keith Ellison, but we need a robust debate about the future of the party," Sanders adviser Chuck Rocha said.

Some in the party are calling for a Hispanic leader.

"The future of the Democratic Party is the Latino vote. I'm hearing from all over, from congressmen and party leaders that want to see a Hispanic jump in to see what he or she brings to the table," Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said.

Another debate about the job is whether it should be full-time or if a sitting lawmaker can do it alongside their congressional job. Former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz simultaneously served as a Florida representative.

David Axelrod, former adviser to President Barack Obama, said in a tweet that the job should be full time.

 

 

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Rep. Keith Ellison is the latest person to announce their run to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and the Minnesota Democrat is expected to be an early favorite to lead the party after its losses in the election, according to The Hill.
keith ellison, democratic national committee, chairman, dnc
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2016-17-15
Tuesday, 15 Nov 2016 12:17 PM
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