Tom Perez Elected as New DNC Chair

On Saturday, February 25, the Democratic National Committee elected new leadership, including for Chair and Vice Chair. The most talked-about race leading up to this election has been for Chair, where the frontrunners were former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN).

After a first round of voting, no candidate had reached the majority threshold needed to win. Perez was one vote short.

Multiple candidates then dropped out, and once the second round of voting occurred, Perez ended up as the winner with 235 votes.

Perez is replacing former DNC Chair Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and interim Chair Donna Brazile, who filled in after Schultz stepped down following the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

After being declared the next Chair (and making history as the first Latino to head the DNC), Perez then turned around and appointed runner-up Ellison as the Deputy Chair, which is a great way to show Democratic Party unity.

“When we have these conversations–sometimes spirited, sometimes difficult–that’s not a sign of weakness; that’s a sign of strength as a party and that’s what we’re going to keep doing,” said Perez.

Perez tweeted after the election:

President Donald Trump of course weighed in on the news. He congratulated Perez but noted that this is good news for the Republican Party. Perez quote-tweeted Trump’s tweet with a blunt reply:

In Perez’s final months as Labor Secretary, he was on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s shortlist to be her running mate; Clinton ended up choosing Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA).

As mentioned, Chair wasn’t the only position being voted on. Michael Blake, Maria Elena Durazo and Grace Meng are the co-Vice Chairs; Karen Carter Peterson is the Chair of CEVP; Jason Rae is the Secretary; Bill Derrough is the Treasurer; and Henry R. Munoz III will continue as the Finance Chair.

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