Despite the four-month campaign winding to a close, the rift in the Democratic Party between Clinton & Sanders backers is far from over…
Former Obama administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to become the next Democratic National Committee chairman Saturday.
The second ballot was largely expected, despite Perez’s campaign boasting it had the votes needed to win. Democrat leaders, too, were eager for a quick resolution to the four-month slog:
Democratic leaders are pushing hard to get the chair race settled on the first ballot, bringing an end to the four-month long proxy war for what the party’s supposed to stand for.
“I have hope that it will resolved on the first ballot,” said Ray Buckley, the NH Dem Party Chairman and former DNC chair candidate.
But that didn’t happen. The need for a second ballot is emblematic of the proxy battle Democrats have been waging for months within their own party. The DNC race has been framed as a rehash of the Clinton-Sanders primary battle from 2016.
For Ds trying to move forward w other races, the DNC showdown has been seen as a distraction that helps keep the party divided. Today hurts.
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) February 25, 2017
Despite Perez’s win on Saturday, the civil war within the party seems far from resolved.
Criticism of Perez ramped up in recent days. Former Maryland Dem Party Chair Susie Turmbull wrote on Twitter she couldn’t support Perez:
Susie Turnbull, former Md party chair, says she couldn't support fellow Md'er Perez bc he'd "never really done anything in my state party."
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) February 24, 2017
Oklahoma Dem Party Chair Mark Hammons said he doubted Perez “will ever win… trust or support” from Sanders supporters.
Ellison supporters chanted “not big money, party for the people,” when interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile announced Perez the winner.
— Lauren Gambino (@laurenegambino) February 25, 2017
Ellison earned the support of former Vermont Governor and DNC chairman Howard Dean between the first and second ballots:
Per Team Ellison, Howard Dean endorses @keithellison for DNC chairman.
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) February 25, 2017
In the first ballot, Ellison earned 200 votes, followed by Idaho Dem Party Chair Sally Boynton Brown with 12, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who had dropped out earlier on Saturday, with one vote.
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