Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez has just been appointed the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee and defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).
The Hill reports that “Perez won with 235 votes on the second ballot, with 218 votes needed to reach a majority. He fell shy in the first ballot, totaling 213.5 votes. Perez was declared the winner after he failed to clear the threshold required to win the first vote by only one ballot”, says the report.
“I would like to begin by making a motion, it is a motion that I have discussed with a good friend, and his name is Keith Ellison,” Perez said during his acceptance speech, announcing Ellison as DNC Deputy.
“Did I hear a second?” asked Perez the audience.
“Second!” the DNC shouted.
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and several members of the Obama administration are said to have supported Perez. As such, Perez was reportedly encouraged by several top Obama advisers to run for DNC chair. To the contrary, Senator Bernie Sanders had openly expressed his support for Ellison.
The race to become the next Democratic Party Chairman, in many ways, mirrored the divisiveness previously seen during the presidential election.
According to the report:
Perez’s win is a victory for centrist Democrats, many of whom were wary of handing the party over to the [Bernie] Sanders wing. But his election risks infuriating progressives, many of whom wanted to see Ellison, an early supporter of Sanders, installed atop the DNC.
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