DNC Forum Live Blog

The DNC Forum organized by the Ohio Democratic Party is about to begin. Watch this space for highlights.

All times are Pacific Standard Time

1:00 – Opening statements.  Up first is New York Assemblyman Michael Blake, who announced his candidacy for Vice-Chair yesterday.  He noted that one third of all House Democrats come from three states, and party only has seven Secretaries of State across the country.

1:05 – Ray Buckley starts his opening comments. He is participating via Skype because of conflicting commitment with the New Hampshire Democratic Party today.  Buckley notes NHDP has all Democrat, all female congressional delegation for the first time in history, have similar electorate to many Midwestern states Hillary Clinton lost.

1:10 – Jaime Harrison begins his opening comments.
“We’ve lost our way. We’ve allowed our party to deteriorate.”
“33/50 governorships controlled by Republicans, 69/99 state houses controlled by Republicans, but we only obsess about the White House.” Harrison praises Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy from 2005-2009, notes that he had to fight with Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer (then-DCCC and DSCC chairs)
“It’s about building trust again in our communities with our party.”
Harrison gets a laugh from the crowd with a House of Cards reference.

1:24 – Keith Ellison begins his opening comments. Compares his day to the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Ellison points out that his congressional district went from having the lowest turnout in Minnesota when he was elected in 2006 to having the highest turnout now.
“We went from a squeaker for Al Franken to a blowout. We went from a squeaker for Mark Dayton to a blowout.”
Ellison acknowledges the need for a fulltime DNC Chair. Closes his opening comments with: “If you elect me, get ready to work.” #DNCForum

Q&A Begins

Q: Ellison – will you eliminate the superdelegate system?
KE: Listen to the Unity Commission. Superdelegates must follow the will of voters of their state.  You want them to be involved but you want them to represent will of the voters.  JH: Let the Unity Commission work. Agrees with KE
MB: Agree on commission, take to the next step. There needs to be changes. Think on other side, if there had been a superdelegate process, probably less likelihood of a Trump nomination.  Let’s figure out how to improve the process first rather than dramatically change it.
RB: Yes, I believe state vote at convention must reflect what vote was in primary or caucus. Last 8 years, been member of Rules and Bylaws – worked on this issue unsuccessfully.  One of the reforms on how we do business at DNC that allow people out there to trust the DNC once again.

Q: Steps to recruit candidates at state and local offices.
JH: Starts with state parties.  Some only have $50K in cash, have elections in 2 years.  25 of 33 Senate seats up in 2018 are Dems, 10 of them in states like Montana, Ohio, etc. that went for Trump.
When I became SC chair, I thought hardest part of my job would be raising money. The hardest part of the job is finding good candidates. I decided to create something to recruit and train good candidates – James Clyburn political fellowship.

Q: Ideas to keep rural Democrats competitive and feeling welcome in the party?
KE: I’m from DFL – Democratic Farm and Labor Party.  Go to rural communities, speak to them on how rural values are important to our Democratic values.  Respect individuality and personal choices.  Show up, be there. Also critical in rural America that money from DNC to rural communities has to be there.  Talking to people in WV – they don’t even have a state party office.  Go do strong listening sessions all over the country. Have to believe we can win in rural communities.
Indebted to Howard Dean for 50-state strategy, but we need a 3,141-county strategy.

Q: How do you plan to thwart right wing propaganda machine?
RB: In NH 2014, Koch brothers invested heavily here.  We reelected our governor, outspent 2-1. There’s nothing more powerful than one neighbor talking to another neighbor. Donald Trump going to be using Twitter feed, celebrity. He has no relationship to honesty when it comes to talking about issues or policies.  We can send all the mail we want, all the TV ads.  Reestablish state parties… have a permanent HQ in every congressional district across the country.  Have offices out there, so people can utilize them, year in year out.  Have to find new innovative ways of communicating.  TV ads not working, more mail isn’t working.  Get down to neighbors talking to neighbors.  NH said hell no when Brooklyn said they would do GOTV based on analytics.

Q:
MB: Make sure both campaigns sharing the data – doesn’t happen often enough.  Look at our track record. All I’ve done over 11 years is how to build organization.  We can’t just win on Election Day and leave.  Too often what we do is change staff all the time.  There are 219 counties that Obama won twice that Trump won. Counties made decision twice to elect/re-elect Obama with 50-60 percent approval.  This will be leadership not just for 2018 midterms, this will be leadership for 2020.

Q: Everyone running agree states should get data immediately?
All candidates raise their hands.

Q: How are you going to unite Democratic Party?
JH: When I was floor director in 2006, one of most diverse caucuses. 15-seat majority.  Difficult when you have issues ranging from hate crimes legislation to withdrawing from Iraq, Lilly Ledbetter. All Democrats for that… Not necessarily.  One of strengths we have as party is diversity, but sometimes comes with great challenges.
One thing I learned from Clyburn – go to people, respect them, and feel that you respect them and appreciate them, it’s amazing how far you can come and how united you can be.
It wasn’t easy. Didn’t think we would pass Matthew Sheppard bill. You have to make it real for people, have to show them, not tell them.  We passed the legislation overwhelmingly.  If you listen to people and understand, you can bring people to do that.  I’ve done that, had a united party going into the convention.

MB: We have to listen and make changes.  Have to appreciate that yes, we had very intense primary which I think was good.  8 years ago, we also had an intense primary.  Irony is I went from Iowa to South Carolina to Minnesota.  One thing we have to learn from this, are we going to make concrete changes so everyone feels they’re in power? I represent most diverse county in America.  Don’t talk about BLM and then be silent on DAPL.
I want you not just to have seat at the table, want to ensure that you have a seat and you have power at that table. Have to recognize we overcome many things.
It took 9 years for Civil Rights to happen.  This is moment for us to build. Has to be moment for us to unite. We have to be Democrats right now, because on other side you have someone doing everything possible to disrespect us as a people.
We want to go around the country to we can build together.  Cant just sit around and hope somebody will show up.  Cannot assume somebody going to vote for you when you haven’t talked to them in a year and a half.

KE: I started as a Bernie Sanders supporter. I told Bernie supporters I’ve carried bills with Hillary. After primary, I hit 7 states for Hillary Clinton.  I was in Ohio, NC, Florida, campaigning for Hillary because I believed in her candidacy.
We cannot form circular firing squad. We must unify and need the talents of every single person to do it.
Unity is something everybody is for, but achieving it is much harder.
Unity is listening, unity is talking. We can all unite around a real infrastructure plan because that puts workers to work and gives us a green economy.
There is a reason why I get elected with 70 percent of the vote. It’s not because district is very liberal. It’s because we work together to reach level of understanding.
When we fall out, I will be the chair in the room to nail us all back together.

RB: I was state party chair in 2008 and 2016. I went to ballot commission to defend Bernie’s right to be on the ballot.  When he went to file, I escorted him into the Secretary of State’s office. I did that not because I favored Bernie, but because it was fair thing to do.
2018 going to be critical election, need to make sure everyone is involved. Everyone has a place at the table.

UPDATE: The Ohio Democratic Party has posted the full video of the forum online. You can watch it here.

DNC Chairman Election Calendar Revealed

Mark your calendars: Patrice Taylor – the Democratic National Committee’s Director of Party Affairs & Delegate Selection – has announced the timetable and process by which the next DNC chair will be selected. You can read her full Medium post here.

First, as announced in Denver last week there will be four regional forums for the DNC chairman candidates to address Democrats directly scheduled for January and February.

  • January 13-14: Phoenix, AZ
  • January 27-28: Houston, TX
  • February 3-4: Detroit, MI
  • February 10-11: Baltimore, MD

The next DNC chairman and officers will be elected during the DNC winter meeting, scheduled to take place in Atlanta from February 23-26.

 

Jaime Harrison Calls Trump Twitter Feud with Union Official “Disgusting”

The Carrier deal that got Donald Trump an initial blitz of good press a few days ago took a twist when Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers 1999 which represents Carrier employees, told the Washington Post that the president-elect “lied his ass off” by embellishing or exaggerating the number of jobs saved by the deal.

As was the case with Khizr Khan and Alicia Machado during the presidential campaign, President-Elect Trump couldn’t let it go. He took to Twitter to strike back at his critic:

South Carolina Democratic Party chairman and DNC chairman candidate Jaime Harrison took to Twitter for his own response:

There are no statements from Ray Buckley or Keith Ellison about the controversy, though Buckley did retweet several comments about it, including one by Jaime Harrison.

Here’s the response from United Steelworkers:

UPDATE: Here’s the response from AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka:

DNC Chairman Candidates and Democratic Senator Respond to DAPL Decision

There was a big development over the weekend in the ongoing protests about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the easement for the DAPL to be built under Lake Oahe, a big win for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe which had opposed the project.

Here is how the declared candidates for the DNC chairmanship stand on the DAPL issue:

Rep. Keith Ellison:

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison:

“I applaud the Army Corps for heeding the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and agreeing that an alternate route for the DAPL is needed to protect the safety and dignity of the nearby Reservation. While I was discouraged that the process proceeded as far as it did without necessary consultation, today’s announcement is a welcome indication that the Obama Administration has heard the voices of the Standing Rock Sioux and their many supporters. I hope the federal government builds on today’s decision to foster appropriate respect for Indigenous peoples in the future. And make no mistake: if the Trump Administration attempts to reverse today’s decision, or otherwise disregards the legitimate interests and concerns of Indigenous peoples, the Democratic Party will stand strongly with the first Americans.”

Because she is up for re-election in 2018, I’m also including Democratic senator Heidi Heitkamp’s statement as well:

“It’s long past time that a decision is made on the easement going under Lake Oahe,” said Heitkamp. “This administration’s delay in taking action — after I’ve pushed the White House, Army Corps, and other federal agencies for months to make a decision — means that today’s move doesn’t actually bring finality to the project. The pipeline still remains in limbo. The incoming administration already stated its support for the project and the courts have already stated twice that it appeared the Corps followed the required process in considering the permit. For the next month and a half, nothing about this project will change. For the immediate future, the safety of residents, protesters, law enforcement, and workers remains my top priority as it should for everyone involved. As some of the protesters have become increasingly violent and unlawful, and as North Dakota’s winter has already arrived – with a blizzard raging last week through the area where protesters are located — I’m hoping now that protesters will act responsibly to avoid endangering their health and safety, and move off of the Corps land north of the Cannonball River.

“Additionally, our federal delegation and governor have been working together in a bipartisan effort to push for more federal resources for law enforcement who have worked day and night through weekends and holidays to support the safety of our communities. The administration needs to provide those funds – whether the protesters remain or not.”

There is no statement from New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley at this time. This post will be updated if that changes.

UPDATE: I received the following statement from Ray Buckley:

“I am pleased that the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline. We need to ensure the protection of sacred and historic tribal sites as an integral part of American history and our larger culture.

“This victory belongs to the people of the Standing Rock Reservation and all the supporters and protestors who have passionately defended the land.”

DNC Chair Candidates Publish Their Platforms

As the race for chairmanship and other elected leadership posts in the Democratic National Committee heats up, candidates have begun putting out their platforms.  Here are the ones that are out so far (Note that candidates with an asterisk next to their name are incumbents running for re-election):

DNC Chair Candidates
Sally Boynton Brown
Ray Buckley
Pete Buttigieg
Keith Ellison
Jehmu Greene
Jaime Harrison
Peter Peckarsky
Tom Perez
Sam Ronan
Robert Vinson Brannum

DNC Vice Chair Candidates
Michael Blake
Melissa Byrne
Mitch Ceasar
Maria Elena Durazo *
Liz Jaff
Lorna Johnson
Latoia Jones
Grace Meng *
Rick Palacio
Adam Parkhomenko

DNC Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Participation Candidates
Karen Carter Peterson
Melissa Fazli
Chris Reeves
Yasmine Taeb

Secretary Candidates
Ana Cuprill
Roberta Lange
Jason Rae
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake *

Treasurer Candidates
Joyce Amico
Bill Derrough

National Finance Chair Candidates
Henry Muñoz III *

Withdrawn/Did Not Run
Xavier Becerra (Opted not to run. Nominated Attorney General of California December 1.)
Howard Dean (Declared November 10. Dropped out December 2.)
Ilyse Hogue  (Opted not to run December 21.)
Steve Israel (Opted not to run)
Martin O’Malley (Opted not to run)
Vincent Tolliver (Declared for Houston DNC Forum January 28, expelled from the race January 31.)

As more candidates get in the race and publish their platforms, they will be added to this list.

Howard Dean Drops Out of DNC Chairman Race

Governor Howard Dean (D-Vt.) released this video for the Association of State Democratic Chairs meeting happening in Denver this weekend.

In addition to announcing his withdrawal from the race, he did not endorse another candidate and encouraged that whoever gets elected to the post take the job as a full-time position – a seeming reference to Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) who is a sitting member of Congress.  Based on the number of endorsements he has accumulated, Ellison remains the front-runner in the race, but that doesn’t mean anything at this point. The winner has to receive the votes of at least 224 out of the 447 voting members of the Democratic National Committee.

Dean’s withdrawal leaves three confirmed candidates in the race (Ellison, New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley, and South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison) which creates some interesting dynamics.

  • Two of the candidates (Ellison and Harrison) are African American. The other (Buckley) is white and openly gay. All three represent constituencies in the Democratic coalition.
  • Two of the candidates (Buckley and Harrison) represent the second and third states in the existing order of the presidential primaries. In both their cases it would raise legitimate questions about whether or not they would be willing to reform or significantly alter the primary calendar and nominating process, lest their home state lose power and influence over the process.
  • Two of the candidates (Buckley and Ellison) are over the age of 50.  Harrison is in his early 40s. This could create a generational divide in terms of outlook for the party’s future, priorities, values, etc. Harrison has said that if he is elected chairman, he will create a Vice Chair position to be filled by someone under the age of 35. Given that Hillary Clinton underperformed with millennials in the recent election, Harrison’s youth could be an asset.
  • Each of them come from states with different political leanings. Ellison represents an urban district in a solidly blue state (Minnesota). Buckley leads the party in a swing state with a track record of voting for both parties in federal, state, and local races (New Hampshire). Harrison leads the party in a solidly red state where Democrats have not been very successful in recent years (South Carolina).
  • Two of the candidates (Buckley and Ellison) come from states with predominantly white populations. Only Harrison comes from a state with a significant minority population – African Americans account for nearly 28 percent of South Carolina’s population according to the most recent census data. Ellison comes from and represents the Upper Midwest – the region of the country that determined the election. This could be an asset for him in making his argument.
  • All three candidates come from small states population-wise, according to the most recent census data. (Minnesota – 5.5 million, 10 electoral votes; South Carolina – 4.9 million, 9 electoral votes; New Hampshire – 1.3 million, 4 electoral votes)
  • Two of the candidates (Buckley and Harrison) are sitting state party chairmen. If either of them were elected, he would be a full-time DNC chairman.  Of those two, Buckley and his state party produced the best results in the recent election, delivering New Hampshire for the presidential and Senate races.  Ellison said he might be open to leaving his congressional seat to do the DNC chairman job full-time. The fact that Buckley and Harrison have had to run their state parties and have lived and operated outside of Washington D.C. could be an asset in making their case for why they can best lead and reform the party, as opposed to a sitting member of Congress who has lived and worked in the capital for years. The party’s recent experience with Debbie Wasserman Schultz could also make it averse to choosing another member of Congress as DNC chairman.

There is still the possibility of other candidates jumping in the race, particularly Ilyse Hogue (president of NARAL Pro-Choice America) and Stephanie Schriock (president of Emily’s List).

James Clyburn Endorses Jaime Harrison for DNC Chair

South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison picked up his first big endorsement today in his race for to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Rep. James Clyburn (R-S.C.), his former boss and the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, sent out an email to DNC members this morning endorsing his former aide, according to Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti.

Harrison’s response on Twitter:

UPDATE: I’ve obtained a copy of the Clyburn email. A good part of the email is biographical in nature, but here are the key excerpts:

I write to strongly encourage you to support Jaime Harrison for Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  He has the experience, vision, and commitment to rebuild our party and to return us to victory on national, state, and local levels.

Jaime’s experiences have made him adept at connecting with people at all levels – from South Carolina fish fries and Maryland crab boils to the hallowed halls of our finest colleges and universities.  Jaime is well regarded by many of my colleagues here and by Democrats from around the country.  We need someone who understands, appreciates, and values the diversity of our party. Jaime Harrison is pitch-perfect for the job.

Our next DNC chair must work full-time to rebuild our party.  The Chair must bridge the divide between those who navigate our political corridors and those who work hard, play by the rules, and want little more than to care for their families and to create stability and opportunity for their children and grandchildren.  I know from over 20 years of experiences with Jaime that he is the right person for the job.  His unrelenting work ethic, keen intellect, collaborative spirit, and utmost integrity will serve our party well.  I commend him to you for your sincere consideration and, hopefully, strong support.

Rust Belt Democrats Want to Meet With DNC Chair Candidates in December

Here’s a good scoop from Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti:

Top Democratic officials in four Rust Belt states that voted for Donald Trump earlier this month have invited the candidates for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship to formally share their thoughts on how the party can compete there at a meeting next month.

A letter obtained by POLITICO and circulated by officials with the Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania Democratic parties on Tuesday evening invites the candidates to the Ohio group’s executive committee meeting on Dec. 10.

“As Chairs and Vice Chairs of states in the industrial Midwest — traditional bellwether or ‘red’ states — we are particularly concerned to hear the ideas and plans you and other candidates have to help us turn this critical region blue again. How will you continue to energize the coalition that has performed so well to elect Democrats at times, while also making inroads in the areas where President-Elect Trump did so well across our states? We are also eager to share our ideas,” the letter reads.

“Bottom line: We’d be honored to have you come to our region to hear directly from Democrats, present your plans and ideas, and engage our grassroots activists who are eager to be part of the conversation.”

If any of the candidates accept, the letter notes, the hosts will invite all DNC members to attend.

Hillary Clinton’s losses in this region were perhaps the most alarming development of the election for state and national Democrats. With the exception of Ohio and Indiana, Democrats had a lock on Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in presidential races since the 1980s. A combined margin of victory of approximately 107,000 votes in those three states secured the presidency for Donald Trump, despite a 2.36 million vote lead in the popular vote for Clinton as votes are still being counted.

Will be keeping an eye on the DNC candidates to see how they respond to this invitation. Any responses will be updated and added here.

DNC Candidate Jaime Harrison Expresses “Concern” Over Nikki Haley’s Lack of Foreign Policy Experience

The big news early this morning is that President-elect Donald Trump has chosen South Carolina governor Nikki Haley to be his ambassador to the United Nations. This in spite of some jabs between the two of them during the primaries:

South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison – who is running for the DNC chairman job – released this statement:

UPDATE: For fairness and context, read this Associated Press story on the background and credentials of the last four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations.

UPDATE II: Some more context on the background of another U.N. ambassador, from Bush 41 biographer Jon Meacham:

The Race for DNC Chairman Begins

(This blog was originally published on my Medium account on November 12.)

At the Dawn of the Post-Obama Post-Clinton Era, Democrats Look for New Leaders

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s shocking losses, Democrats were left reeling to figure out what to do next: what they stand for, where their party goes, and who will emerge as the next generation of leaders. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid’s time as leaders of their party is almost over, and they will likely be respected elder party statesmen (and woman) in the same way many of their predecessors are regarded. Democrats have four years to figure out who they are and how to present a viable alternative to President Donald Trump in 2020, a crucial election not just because it’s a presidential year but because it’s also a census year. The outcomes of the 2020 races will determine congressional redistricting as well as the number of votes states get in the Electoral College for the following decade. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will lead the Democratic minorities in Congress, which will have to deal with united Republican executive and legislative branches which are expected to begin the next term by dismantling President Obama’s accomplishments and legacy.

The first step in the post-Obama/post-Clinton Democratic Party is the election of a new Democratic National Committee chair, to replace interim chair Donna Brazile who had to guide the party through the final months of the 2016 election after Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation following the initial WikiLeaks email dump. The thinking among some journalists and political observers is this could be a rehashed and potentially messy proxy war of the Clinton-Sanders Democratic primaries. The original plan was for President-elect Hillary Clinton’s choice to be DNC chair to be elected after her inauguration in January. Now, sources tell Politico that the election will take place sometime in February or March. Here are the names, listed by alphabetical order, that have been declared or rumored for the position in the past few months and the last few days after Clinton’s loss:

Xavier Becerra: Member of Congress representing California’s 34th District, which includes downtown and northeast Los Angeles. He is the outgoing Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, the #4 ranking Democrat in the leadership and the highest-ranking Latino in the party. He was considered as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton.

Raymond Buckley: Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party and DNC Vice Chair. New Hampshire was one of the few bright spots for Democrats in an otherwise dismal 2016 election with Maggie Hassan’s Senate race victory and Carol Shea-Porter’s House race victory. There was already buzz about him being potentially the next DNC chair going back to the Democratic National Convention last summer. During a more recent interview with NH1 News Political Director Paul Steinhauser, Buckley said he had been receiving calls encouraging him to run for the position. He would be the first openly gay political party leader in history. (Former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman came out after he left the job.) As DNC vice chair and chairman of the New Hampshire Democrats, Buckley was neutral during the 2015–2016 primaries, but has had historical ties to the Clintons, but also said he had a “great relationship” with Bernie Sanders, noting he hired two Sanders New Hampshire operatives to join his staff.

Howard Dean: Former governor of Vermont and DNC chairman from 2005–2009. He oversaw the rebuilding of the Democratic Party after the 2004 election with the 50-State Strategy, meant to rebuild state party infrastructure and outreach efforts, particularly in traditionally red states where Democrats might not have spent money or time in in the past. During his tenure, the Democrats took over both chambers of Congress in 2006 and won a historic presidential election with Obama in 2008. He was also a pretty fierce partisan brawler in opposing George W. Bush and Republicans in general as a 2004 presidential candidate and as DNC chairman, which is something Democrats would probably appreciate from him in potentially taking on Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, or Mitch McConnell. Two days after the 2016 election, Dean tweeted, “The [Democrats] need organization and focus on the young. Need a fifty State strategy and tech rehab. I am in for chairman again.” Dean was a Hillary Clinton supporter during the 2015–2016 primaries.

Keith Ellison: Member of Congress representing Minnesota’s Fifth District, which includes Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs. He currently serves on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which decides committee assignments and sets the House Democratic caucus agenda, and serves as chief deputy whip to Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, the #2 Democrat in the House. He is also the co-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He was the first African American to represent Minnesota in Congress, and the first Muslim ever elected to Congress. Looked at purely on the basis of optics, having an African American Muslim from the Upper Midwest — the region of the country that secured Trump’s victory — as a leading national voice of opposition to Donald Trump could be a powerful message and messenger. This video clip of Ellison on ABC’s This Week from July 2015 warning of the possibility of a President Trump has gone viral in the past few days. Ellison was a Bernie Sanders supporter during the 2015–2016 primaries. He has received backing in recent days for the DNC chairmanship from Sanders, Schumer, and Elizabeth Warren.

Jennifer Granholm: Former governor of Michigan. She was a top Hillary Clinton surrogate and co-chair of the Clinton transition team, and seen as a possible front-runner for the position if Clinton won the election. She told Politico in the days after the election that she was “not interested” in the job, and that Keith Ellison would be “great,” while also mentioning Becerra and Housing Secretary Julián Castro as possible candidates.

Jaime Harrison: Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. A former aide to #3 House Democrat James Clyburn, he broke a barrier by becoming the first African American elected to the post in 2013. He is also a principal at the Podesta Group, the lobbying firm founded by Tony and John Podesta — Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman — which raised questions about his impartiality before the South Carolina primary earlier this year about whether or not the Democratic Party establishment was treating Bernie Sanders fairly. (Hacked DNC emails published by WikiLeaks during the Democratic National Convention last summer showed that some elements within the party weren’t impartial during the primary, resulting in the resignations of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and several staffers.) In response to the speculation about the race for DNC chairman, Harrison recently tweeted, “I’m blown away by the tons of calls, emails, and texts urging me to run for DNC Chair… praying about it. I’ll decide soon!”

Steve Israel: The outgoing member of Congress who represented New York’s 3rd District which covers parts of Queens and Long Island, and former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He told Politico at the beginning of this year that he would be retiring from office to “pursue new passions and develop new interests, mainly spend more time writing my second novel.” Newsday reported his name was being floated for the DNC chairman position at the convention last summer in the aftermath of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation.

Jason Kander: Missouri Secretary of State. Kander recently ran and lost the race for Missouri Senate by 3 points, outperforming Hillary Clinton in a red state Donald Trump won by 19 points. A former military intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan and only 35 years old, he is considered one of the promising stars in the party after having run an unexpectedly close race in a Republican state. He declined to run for reelection as Secretary of State to focus on the Senate race, which means he leaves office next year.

Minyon Moore: Former DNC CEO who previously served as a political adviser in the Clinton White House. One potential problem is the fact that she was caught up in an investigation into a possible undisclosed financing of a pro-Hillary Clinton get out the vote effort in at least four states during the 2008 primaries. She has also operated mostly out of the public eye throughout her career, which is a sharp contrast from the very public nature of the DNC chairman position.

Martin O’Malley: Former mayor of Baltimore, former governor of Maryland (who was also a partial basis for the character of Tommy Carcetti on HBO’s The Wire) and 2016 presidential candidate who dropped out of the race early on. He tweeted, “Since the election, I have been approached by many Democrats who believe our party needs new leadership. I’m taking a hard look at DNC Chair because I know how badly we need to reform our nominating process, articulate a bold progressive vision, recommit ourselves to higher wages and a stronger middle class, and return to our roots as a nationwide, grassroots party.”

R.T. Rybak: Former mayor of Minneapolis, DNC vice chair, and the first mayor of a major U.S. city to endorse Barack Obama for president in 2007. He is currently the president and CEO of the Minneapolis Foundation and on the board of Generation Next.

Stephanie Schriock: President of Emily’s List, an organization that encourages pro-choice Democratic women to run for office. She previously served as Howard Dean’s finance director during his 2004 campaign, as well as campaign manager for Jon Tester’s 2006 Senate race in Montana and Al Franken’s 2008 Senate race in Minnesota.