Dropping out of the race to lead the Democratic National Committee (DNC), New Hampshire party chair Ray Buckley threw his support behind progressive rival Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).
“From the moment I stepped into this race, I made it clear that the top two priorities of the next DNC chair must be to strengthen state parties and reform the DNC,” said Ray Buckley in a press statement announcing the endorsement. “Now, many candidates have spoken about these issues, but Keith’s commitment to the states and a transparent and accountable DNC has stood out. He knows elections are not won and lost in the beltway, but on the ground across the country.”
The announcement, which came one week before the DNC election in Atlanta on February 25th, “gives Ellison new strength heading into the homestretch as he campaigns against fellow front-runner Tom Pérez, the former Secretary of Labor,” Politico observed.
[pullquote]Keith’s emphasis and well-documented commitment to party building and grassroots organizing in every community is exactly what we need as the nation finds itself at a crossroad under the divisive Trump administration,” said Eskelsen García.[/pullquote]
In the final stretch, Ellison, who has the backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) among other prominent lawmakers, has racked up a number of notable endorsements.
On Friday, both Lily Eskelsen García, head of the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), as well as the Service Employees International Union announced they were backing the Progressive Congressional Caucus co-chair, following other major labor organizations, including AFL-CIO, Teamsters, United Steelworkers, American Federation of Government Employees, Communications Workers of America, UNITE HERE, and National Nurses United.
“Keith’s emphasis and well-documented commitment to party building and grassroots organizing in every community is exactly what we need as the nation finds itself at a crossroad under the divisive Trump administration,” said Eskelsen García.
South Carolina Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison, Idaho Democratic Party executive director Sally Boynton Brown, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and television commentator Jehmu Greene also remain in the race.
Ellison, who faces off against his competitors during a CNN-hosted debate on Wednesday, has said as chair he would implement a “3,143 county strategy” to “rebuild the party from the grassroots up.”
“Because in this fight against Donald Trump and Republican-controlled states,” he said, “we need every state party firing on all cylinders.”
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