Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota announced on Nov. 14 that he is officially running as the next Democratic National Committee chairman.
"I am proud to announce my candidacy for Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and 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, according to Politico.
Ellison has reportedly been planning to run for the position since before Election Day and has galvanized support from Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Chuck Schumer of New York, Harry Reid of Nevada, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Hawaii Democratic Party chairman Tim Vandeveer, former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, and Minnesota Democratic Party chairman Ken Martin are just some of the high-ranking politicians who have also endorsed the progressive.
"We must also do everything we can to elect Democrats in Congress in 2018, and to take back the White House in 2020," Sanders said, according to a petition his team has released in support of Ellison. "We need a Democratic National Committee led by a progressive who understands the dire need to listen to working families, not the political establishment or the billionaire class. That is why I support Keith Ellison to be the next Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and why I hope you'll join me in advocating for him to lead the DNC."
Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, has a long history working in progressive politics and endorsed Sanders' presidential bid during the Democratic primaries.
"I think there is a great deal to be said for putting an active Sanders supporter in there," said former Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who supported Clinton during the primaries. "I want to go into 2020 without these kinds of suspicions and paranoia."
New Hampshire Chairman Ray Buckley, South Carolina Chairman Jaime Harrison and Labor Secretary Tom Perez are also rumored to be considering a bid for the position. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has formally announced his candidacy for DNC chair, which he held from 2005 to 2009. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement that he is taking a "hard look" at running, according to the Washington Post.