Big get for Keith Ellison in the DNC chairman race. He sent out this statement from John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party:
“I am supporting Keith Ellison for DNC chair because he is committed full time to organizing field efforts in key states, and I agree with him that Democrats must do a better job to motivate voters across the nation, including championing working families and their issues.
“Keith knows that elections aren’t won in Washington, D.C. He understands the investment and support state parties need and will help foster a strong bench of candidates, effective field operations and open communication between the National Democratic Party and every state, especially those that need it the most.
“And over the last few months, I’ve received overwhelming feedback from activist Democrats across CA who back Keith. People like to refer to California as a blue state, but it was just over 6 years ago we fought to successfully take back the Governorship from a Republican, and I credit our successes to a re-energized state party that supports its grassroots volunteers and promotes candidates who reflect California’s values. Keith Ellison’s commitment to organizing gives me hope we’ll see similar results across the nation.”
Why is this important? 1) As state party chairman, Burton is one of the party insiders who has a say in picking the next DNC chairman at the party’s winter meeting in Atlanta at the end of the month. 2) As NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald points out, California has the largest delegation to the DNC. (NOTE: For those of you seeing this as a Bernie-Hillary proxy war, keep in mind that Hillary Clinton won the California primary 55-43.)
UPDATE: Here’s the statement from the California Democratic Party’s Twitter account: