Former Obama Secretary of Labor Tom Perez has defeated Rep. Keith Ellison to become the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
The vote on the first ballot was Tom Perez 213.5 to Keith Ellison 200. The threshold for election was 214.5. Sally Boynton Brown withdrew after the first ballot, and her 12 votes were up for grabs. 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. Jehmu Greene also withdrew and endorsed Tom Perez. Greene picked up one-half vote of support. Before the results were announced, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg also dropped out.
Here are the results of the first DNC ballot:
Peter Peckarsky withdrew and endorsed Keith Ellison.
On the second ballot, the vote was 235 for Perez, and 200 for Ellison.
In his speech to DNC voters before the voting, Perez said that all Democrats would leave united and that Democrats are the party of inclusion in every zip code. Perez said that a united Democratic Party is not only Democrats best hope, but Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.
Former Sec. Perez has outlined a strategy of rebuilding the party in every zip code. Perez promised to change the culture of the DNC and redefine the role of the organization to build strong local Democratic parties.
In his speech, before the voting, Ellison said that Democrats are the best hope for the American people at this moment. He said that Democrats are going to stand up, rise up, and protect the American people. Rep. Ellison said that the election of the next DNC chair is about winning elections. Rep. Ellison said that organizing is how Democrats are going to win. He promised to raise voter turnout, and raise money from small donations. Ellison said that the party has to go to the grassroots.
Perez’s victory demonstrated the limitations of progressives and Bernie Sanders supporters within the Democratic Party structure. The progressives thought they had an opening with Ellison, but over the final week of the three-month campaign, it was clear that Perez had the majority of the votes and was closer to victory than Ellison.
The difference between the two candidates was subjective. Ellison supporters label Perez as part of the party establishment, which is more of a feeling than a proven fact, and Perez supporters label Ellison as too radical, which is again is moire of an opinion than a fact.
The truth that neither partisan side wanted to hear is that the DNC was going to be in better shape no matter who won.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz was a part-time chair who was unpopular and seemed more interested in elevating herself than building the party. With either Ellison or Perez in charge, the DNC will now have a full-time chair that will be committed to building the party at the state and local levels.
Democrats need to rebuild at the state level before the 2020 census and redistricting that will follow.
Both Ellison and Perez will take the party in a needed new direction, and even though, I believed that Ellison would have been the better communicator and messenger for the Democratic Party, Tom Perez will be an upgrade as DNC chair.
The election is over, so it is time to come together and fully support new party chairperson Tom Perez.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association