Following his victory, Perez named Ellison Deputy Chair of the DNC
Atlanta, GA – Tom Perez, former Labor Department Secretary for President Obama, clinched the title of DNC Chair after two rounds of voting.
Perez has emerged victorious in the race for the chairmanship with 235 votes. Rep. Keith Ellison fell short of the votes necessary to secure the top position.
During the first round of voting, Perez came very close to winning the race with 213.5 votes. Ellison had 200 votes on the first ballot. Following the first ballot, the other candidates dropped out of the race leaving just the frontrunners to fight it out in the second round of voting.
In the second round of voting, Perez walked away with the majority with lead of 35 votes.
The race for the chairmanship has been contentious at times with candidates from all ends of the liberal spectrum dividing the Democratic Party. Ellison, with an endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I – VT), was considered too progressive for some of the more traditional candidates. This has caused some people to threaten to leave the party depending on who gets elected.
In a fiery op-ed just last night, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said that he will “quit the party after 60 years of loyal association and voting” if Ellison was elected DNC Chair. He cited Ellison’s association with anti-semitism as the primary reason for his disdain for the “hard-left” candidate.
Ellison supporters voiced similar sentiments about the possibility of Perez winning, claiming his ties to the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton were too mainstream and establishment.
“If Perez wins, we’re not gonna come out with pitchforks and say, ‘No, no, no,’” Murshed Zaheed, political director of the progressive activist network Credo Action, said to the Huffington Post. “It’s going to keep the DNC what it is: an irrelevant, old, stale entity.”
In the end, the establishment Democrats edged out the win.
As Perez stepped to the podium following his victory, he immediately made a motion to appoint Ellison as Deputy Chair of the DNC. The crowd cheered in approval. There wasn’t a single “nay” vote from the crowd over the motion, making Ellison the Deputy Chair.
Ellison then took the mic to call for unity and ask the delegates to “give everything you’ve got to support Chairman Perez.”
During his short nomination address before the voting began, Perez called for party unity, saying the DNC is “one family, and I know we will leave here united today.”
Making Ellison Deputy Chair seemed to be one step in the direction towards party unity.
“We will turn this party around and get Democrats winning again,” Perez told a cheering crowd.
All eyes are on Perez now to see if he can follow through on his promises of success at the ballot box.