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.
ATLANTA – In the past few days, at least two news organizations have tried to do a whip count to gauge the state of the race for DNC chairman.
According to The Hill:
- The Whip Count:
- Keith Ellison – 105
- Tom Perez – 57
- The other candidates had less than a dozen votes each.
- The Hill’s math only accounts for 162 out of 447 voting DNC members.
- More than 50 DNC members undecided.
According to the Associated Press:
- The Whip Count:
- Perez – 205
- Ellison – 153
- Harrison – 27
- Boynton Brown – 10
- Buttigieg – 8
- Greene – 0
- AP’s math accounts for 403 out of 447 voting DNC members.
- The magic number to win the race is 224.
- If AP’s math is correct,
- Neither of the two frontrunners has the race locked up.
- Tom Perez is 19 votes shy of winning the race.
- Jaime Harrison could play role of kingmaker and put Perez over the top with his 27 votes.
- Even if Harrison and Perez work out some sort of deal along the lines of the one allegedly worked out between Keith Ellison and Ray Buckley, that doesn’t mean that Harrison’s 27 votes are obligated to vote for Perez.
- Even if Keith Ellison were to win all 44 votes that are unaccounted for, he still comes up short.
Regardless of which story you read, take with a grain of salt, because alliances can shift as candidates gain momentum or drop out through the rounds. Some promises or commitments may have been made privately, but that doesn’t mean they are binding. Because neither of the two front runners likely has a lock on 224 votes for an outright victory on the first ballot, there will likely be multiple rounds of voting.
Live debate in Atlanta co-hosted by CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Dana Bash:
Continue reading “CNN DNC Chair Debate Live Blog”
The Wall Street Journal’s Reid Epstein has a good update on the state of the DNC chair race. (Keep in mind this story was written and published before Ray Buckley’s decision to drop out of the race and endorse Keith Ellison). Here are some highlights from the story:
- Despite Tom Perez’s email to DNC members saying he had secured the support of 180 members, the campaign could only provide the WSJ with the names of 34 members who had publicly endorsed him.
- Keith Ellison’s campaign provided the WSJ with a list of 56 DNC members who have publicly endorsed him.
- Key caveat: “Neither campaign agreed to reveal their list of private commitments.”
- DNC member endorsement counts for other candidates:
- Sally Boynton Brown: 5
- Ray Buckley: 8
- Pete Buttigieg: 6
- Jehmu Greene: 0
- Jaime Harrison: 9
- Sally Boynton Brown, as well as representatives from the Ellison and Perez campaigns, are in Laramie, Wyoming today for an event organized by state Democrats. None of Wyoming’s four DNC members has made a public endorsement in the race.
UPDATE: Since Buckley dropped out of the race, he is encouraging his supporters and the DNC members who endorsed him to get behind Ellison. The assumption is that they will do so, though they are free to get behind another candidate if they wish.
Sally Boynton Brown:
“This is a stolen seat. The process for Antonin Scalia’s replacement has been delayed by Senate Republicans for nearly a year, and now we have an historically unpopular president who lost the popular vote by three million votes nominating a Scalia clone to the High Court. The American people won’t stand for this, and the Democratic Party will stand in lockstep with them.”
“The judge nominated by President Obama for this Supreme Court seat, Merrick Garland, was called ‘a consensus nominee’ by Senator Orrin Hatch. But Senate Republicans refused to even give him a hearing; Mitch McConnell said, ‘Let’s let the American people decide.’ Well, by a margin of almost 3 million, more Americans chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump to fill this seat. So President Trump would have been wise to choose a consensus nominee like Merrick Garland. But given Trump’s radical actions since the start of his presidency, we should not be surprised that he has chosen a judge whose record favoring big corporations and opposing civil rights suggests that he is a right-wing zealot. Unless the hearings somehow reveal that Judge Gorsuch’s extreme record will not continue on our nation’s highest court, bring out the cots for a filibuster.”
“I always say that past is prologue, and today President Donald Trump proved that theory true when he announced a nominee just as extreme and divisive as his past 12 days in office. President Trump’s selection of Judge Gorsuch to serve a lifetime term on our nation’s highest court only further cements what we’ve witnessed over the first 12 days of his administration: that he doesn’t give a damn about upholding the Constitution.
“Judge Gorsuch has already led the attack on women’s reproductive health from the bench and would eagerly overturn Roe v. Wade if confirmed. He has an abysmal record on protecting citizens from police brutality and would seriously jeopardize bipartisan efforts toward criminal justice reform. He would similarly dismantle the gains we’ve made for LGBT Americans and serve as a reliable vote in favor of voter suppression on the high court. In short, a Justice Gorsuch would discriminate against a majority of Americans from the bench. This alone is disqualifying.
“And just yesterday, Donald Trump demonstrated that what he’s most concerned with is putting in place sycophants who can’t be trusted to hold him accountable when he breaks the law and violates the Constitution. We should expect nothing less from his judicial nominees.
“Simply put, a Justice Gorsuch on the Supreme Court is intolerable and it’s up to Democrats to block his nomination.
“As I’ve said before, we need to afford Donald Trump the same level of cooperation Mitch McConnell afforded President Obama. That starts with making sure that Judge Gorsuch never sits on the Supreme Court.”
I haven’t seen any statements on Keith Ellison’s campaign and congressional websites or any of his social media accounts. This post will be updated if he issues a statement or makes a public comment.
Here’s the field for the second DNC forum. Note that this will be the first appearance by the last four names at the bottom of the list.
Sally Boynton Brown, Idaho
Raymond Buckley, New Hampshire
Pete Buttigieg, Indiana
Keith Ellison, Minnesota
Jehmu Greene, Texas
Jaime Harrison, South Carolina
Honorable Tom Perez, Maryland
Peter Peckarsky, Wisconsin
Sam Ronan, Ohio
Vincent Tolliver, Georgia
Robert Vinson Brannum, Washington, D.C.
Continue reading “DNC Forum Houston Liveblog Chairman Candidates”