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Status-Quo DNC Candidate Tom Perez Wins Chairmanship

Despite the four-month campaign winding to a close, the rift in the Democratic Party between Clinton & Sanders backers is far from over…

Tom Perez Wins DNC

Former Obama administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to become the next Democratic National Committee chairman Saturday.

Perez fell short one vote short on the first ballot with 213.5 votes of the 214.5 needed. (Here’s why there are half votes.) On the second ballot, Perez won 235 votes to Ellison’s 200

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.

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:

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.

Ellison earned the support of former Vermont Governor and DNC chairman Howard Dean between the first and second ballots:

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.