Who won the DNC chair vote on Saturday?
Those interested in who will be leading the Democratic National Committee after the failure of the 2016 election will be able to follow live results of the voting and see if Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison or former Labor Secretary Tom Perez is picked to lead the party.
The race for a party chair is normally a quiet affair, filled with names not familiar to the average voter. But Hillary Clinton’s shocking loss in the 2016 presidential election combined with the allegations that former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz tilted the scales against Bernie Sanders has ratcheted up interest in the vote.
Delegates will convene on Saturday to vote for the next DNC chair, and those who follow live results are likely to see a very close race. Ellison and Perez emerged as the two frontrunners, with some others dropping out in the final week to leave what will likely be a head-to-head matchup between a former Obama appointee with connections to Hillary Clinton and a representative backed by Bernie Sanders.
As NPR noted, those who follow the live results of the DNC chair vote will see a glimpse of the Democratic Party’s future while giving a nod to the past. The report noted that candidates are looking to move past the controversy of 2016 while also planning to revive the effective “50-state strategy” that helped Barack Obama push for victories in states that had long been red.
“[T]he DNC has effectively been in a holding pattern since mid-2016, when WikiLeaks published internal emails that led to the ouster of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The emails were likely stolen and provided to WikiLeaks by Russian hackers, according to the CIA and other federal intelligence agencies.
“Most of the candidates are vowing to borrow a page from former DNC Chair Howard Dean and spend time and money organizing the party across the country — not just in coastal states where Democrats have solidified their support in recent years.”
In a way, the Democratic National Committee chair race is shaping up to be a second showing of Clinton vs. Sanders. Perez to many represents the political coalition that just lost the 2016 election, while Ellison’s progressive streak continues the movement of Bernie Sanders.
“Ellison jumped into the race as the instant frontrunner, positioning himself to carry the baton of the left-wing movement that spawned from the failed presidential bid of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.),” The Hill noted.
“The first Muslim elected to Congress, Ellison helps lead the Congressional Progressive Caucus and emerged as one of Sanders’ top surrogates on both the campaign trail and the DNC platform committee. That made him into a darling of Sanders supporters and allies, who have gone all in on his campaign.”
The vote itself could take quite some time. The 447 members of the Democratic National Committee will be voting among the seven choices — which also include Sam Ronan, Sally Boynton Brown, Peter Peckarsky, Pete Buttigieg, and Jehmu Greene.
A candidate needs to reach a majority of votes to be elected chair, so the members will continue voting in different rounds until someone finally reaches that mark. The candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated in each round, so it could take as many as five founds of voting before a winner is selected. And with reports indicating that it is expected to be a very close vote between Perez and Ellison, it’s likely it will take that long.
Those who want to follow live results of the DNC chair race can watch the live streaming video of the conference embedded above or click here to follow along on the Democratic National Committee’s website.
[Featured Image by Susan Rice/Getty Images]