Ellison Relents, Says He’ll Resign from Congress if Elected DNC Chair

“All there is to do is to vote ‘no,’” Ellison said of Congress last week, but he changed his tune about juggling two jobs today…

Ellison Resign Congress

DNC Chair candidate Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said Wednesday he would resign from office if elected as the Democrats’ chairman.

This comes on the heels of comments Ellison, who currently represents Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District, made last Friday when he said that the role of DNC chair would be “more important” to him than his job in Congress because “[a]ll there is to do is to vote ‘no.’”

Those comments came at a Democratic National Committee meeting in Denver last Friday. At that event, Ellison said it was becoming clear that DNC members wanted a full-time chairman:

“I’m in the process of deciding this issue and whether I can perform both roles,” Ellison said. “But will [the DNC chair] be my top priority? Absolutely.”

“I’ve talked with a lot of you and it’s become very apparent that many of you feel firmly about this,” Ellison continued.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who served as DNC Chair from 2005-2009, pushed strongly for a full-time chairman before bowing out of the race on Friday. That sentiment was echoed by South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, also a candidate for chair, who pressed Ellison on that issue last week.

After Mr. Ellison pointed out that other elected officials, most recently Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, had held the post while serving in office, Mr. Harrison responded with barely veiled mockery.

“‘Debbie did it,’” Mr. Harrison said to scattered laughs and groans. “I’ll leave that up to you guys to make that determination.”

Wasserman Schultz’s tenure saw Democrats lose control of the House, Senate, and eventually the White House.