With the Democrats suffering a near-historic loss in the 2016 elections, and the leadership of the national party in flux, presumptive Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is backing Keith Ellison for Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Ellison would be the first Muslim to hold that position.
According to Politico, Ellison, a Congressman from Minnesota, would experience a huge boost in national recognition if he is to become the party’s chair. He would take the reigns from interim Chair Donna Brazile who replaced Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz after she resigned earlier this year following the DNC Wikileaks scandal.
“Without a Democratic White House, Schumer's view is the DNC is where grassroots organizing in sync with leg battles should be organized,” a source close to Sen. Schumer added.
Speaking with MSNBC on Nov. 10, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, called Ellison’s prospect “terrific.”
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Ellison is expected to make a formal announcement of his bid on Nov. 14, and will be in the running against former DNC Chair and presidential candidate Howard Dean.
“The dems need organization and focus on the young,” Dean tweeted on Nov. 10. “Need a fifty State strategy and tech rehab. I am in for chairman again.”
“The Democratic establishment had their chance with this election,” Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said. “It’s time for new leadership of the Democratic Party — younger, more diverse and more ideological — that is hungry to do things differently, like leading a movement instead of dragging people to the polls.”
“I think you need to clean house at the DNC, no question about it,” Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus with Ellison, said. “You’re going to need a DNC that is not just a money collector and employment agency for consultants and pollsters. They have to be advocates, and not just conduits. The DNC should be both an organizing tool and an advocacy tool.”