Keith Ellison Announces Run for DNC Chair

As the Left struggles to find identity in the wake of Trump’s victory, MN Congressman puts his name in middle of potential proxy war.

Minneapolis, MN- Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-CD5) announced his candidacy for Chair of the Democratic National Committee Tuesday.

“If given the opportunity to serve, I will work tirelessly to make the Democratic Party an organization that brings us together and advances an agenda that improves people’s lives,” Ellison said in a statement, reports Politico.

His only current competition is former Governor of Vermont and 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, origin of the infamous Dean Scream. Dean served as the DNC chair from 2005 to 2009 and has been arguing that Ellison can not effectively run the DNC and be an active member of Congress, reports Politico. This is a criticism that has also been leveled at the previous DNC chair,  Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL-23.)

“You cannot do this job and sit in a political office at the same time. It’s not possible,” Dean said in an interview with MSNBC.

While Dean is a more establishment candidate for the position, Ellison represents the progressive wing of the party. He played a prominent role in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, and has already picked up not only Sanders’ endorsement, but that of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Congressmen Mark Pocan (WI-2) and Raul Grijalva (AZ-3) the co-chairman of the congressional progressive caucus. Ellison is the other co-chair of that same caucus.

More establishment politicians have been backing Ellison recently however, including outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV,) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY.)

In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s defeat to Donald Trump, and with Republicans maintaining control of both the House and the Senate, the Democratic Party is in the midst of a bit of an identity crisis. The race for DNC Chair could quickly become an ideological proxy war, as Democrats struggle to figure out where they are going in 2018 and beyond.

Former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley is also considering a possible run for DNC Chair, and the race is likely to expand beyond that.

Anders Koskinen