Perez, the former labor secretary, is the first Latino leader to be at the helm of the DNC.
Written By NewsOne Staff
The Democratic National Committee elected former Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez as its new chair on Saturday. Perez edged out Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison to clinch the victory, reports the New York Times.
Former Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday, narrowly defeating Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota to take the helm of a still-divided party stunned by President Trump’s victory but hopeful that it can ride the backlash against his presidency to revival.
The balloting, which carried a measure of suspense not seen in the party in decades, revealed that Democrats have yet to heal the wounds from last year’s presidential primary campaign. Mr. Perez, buoyed by activists most loyal to former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, won with 235 votes out of 435 cast on the second ballot.
Mr. Ellison, who was lifted primarily by the liberal enthusiasts of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, captured the remaining 200 votes. But that was only after he had pushed the voting to a second round after Mr. Perez fell a single vote short of winning on the first ballot.
According to the New York Times, Perez appointed Rep. Ellison as the deputy chairman of the DNC, as a sign of unity needed by the Democratic Party.
Perez used his victory speech to address the importance of unity within the Democratic party. “As a team, we will work together,” he said, according to ABC News. “We should all be able to say … the united Democratic Party led the resistance and ensured that this president would be a one-term president.”