ATLANTA—Former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez came within half a vote of winning the chairmanship for the Democratic National Committee on the first ballot. Out of 427 ballots cast, the threshold to win was 214. Perez finished with 213.5 ballots, Rep. Keith Ellison finished second with 200 ballots. Idaho Democratic Party executive director Sally Boynton Brown finished third with 12 votes. South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, who withdrew from the race earlier in the day, received one vote. Former Fox News pundit Jehmu Greene received half a ballot. The remaining candidates – Air Force veteran Sam Ronan and attorney Peter Peckarsky did not receive any ballots. Perez and Greene’s half ballots came from the Democrats Abroad caucus.
Boynton Brown, Greene, Ronan and Peckarsky withdrew from the race after the first ballot. Greene endorsed Perez, Peckarsky endorsed Ellison, and Ronan endorsed Ellison but said he would support Perez if he won. Boynton Brown did not endorse a candidate. This sets up a head-to-head matchup between Ellison and Perez for the second ballot. Perez could have won the first ballot outright if the DNC member who voted for Buttigieg had cast his or her ballot for him or if he had received the half ballot cast for Greene.
The second ballot is currently underway.