DNC Race Endorsement Counts, and Candidates Seeking Endorsements in Wyoming Today

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. 

Ray Buckley Drops Out of DNC Chair Race, Endorses Keith Ellison

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley announced this morning he is getting out of the race and getting behind Keith Ellison.  Here’s the statement:

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. “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. His plan, in fact, shared many of the same ideas and principles as my own. We both believe in investing in all 50 states, Democrats Abroad, and the territories, providing support and resources to help state parties succeed, and organizing in every county across this great country. And here’s the thing, we both have a track record of winning elections. While it was a tremendous honor to run for DNC Chair over the past few months, I am proud to throw my support behind Keith so we can ensure that the next Chair of the DNC is dedicated to investing in and strengthening state parties and ensuring that the DNC is an accountable organization. As I’ve talked to the DNC membership, it’s clear Keith has widespread support, and I know as our next DNC Chair Keith will successfully unite and grow our party.”

This is a big get for Ellison for two reasons: first, it removes a potential rival from the race. Second, in his capacity as chairman of the NHDP, Buckley has a vote in picking the next chairman at the party’s winter meeting in Atlanta at the end of the month.

You can read my interview from a few weeks ago with Ray Buckley here.

 

DNC Race Home Stretch

The four regional forums are done, and in eight days, the 447 voting members of the Democratic National Committee will pick the party’s next chairman (or woman) and senior leaders.

The big drama in the past few days: Tom Perez sent out an email to DNC members saying he had locked up 180 votes – a claim which can’t be independently verified – out of the 224 votes necessary to win the chairmanship. This prompted Keith Ellison to send out his own email to DNC members accusing Ellison – without naming him – of misleading or misrepresenting his lead in the state of the race.  Young Turks reporter Nomiki Konst created a bit of a stir when she tweeted a series of photos showing Perez and Ellison having dinner together at a Dupont Circle restaurant after a candidates’ forum organized by the Woman’s National Democratic Club. Perez and Ellison subsequently tweeted that they were just friends, and in a statement pledged cooperation regardless of who won the chairmanship at the election later this month.

NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald reported that Ellison had offered New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley “a role leading DNC operations” in exchange for his endorsement in the race. Asked to comment on this report, a source close to Buckley responded, “The Chairman is still in the race and is keeping all options on the table right now. He wants to make sure whatever he does is in the party’s best interests.”

Beyond that, here is the list of all the endorsements that have been announced by the various candidates over the past several days:

Sally Boynton Brown:

Pete Buttigieg:

Keith Ellison:

Jaime Harrison:

Tom Perez:

DNC Forum Baltimore Liveblog

Moderated by April Ryan, Urban Radio Networks

Continue reading “DNC Forum Baltimore Liveblog”

California Democratic Party Chairman Endorses Keith Ellison

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:

Keith Ellison Picks Up Endorsements in DNC Race

Keith Ellison rolled out several big endorsements over the last few days leading up to today’s DNC Forum in Detroit.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale (who, like Ellison, is also from Minnesota):

“I’m pleased to support Keith Ellison, a fellow Minnesotan, as the next Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Keith was a Minnesota star in the state legislature and now in the U.S. House. Keith believes that we need to help all Americans succeed, and this message of inclusiveness is one that has resonated with people in the 5th Congressional District in Minnesota, who have re-elected Keith five times and who have turned out to vote in increasing numbers ever since Keith took office. Keith is exactly the type of person our Party needs right now, and I know he’d use his talents to elect Democrats across our country if he’s the next DNC Chair.”

Rep. John Lewis:

I ask you to join me in supporting my colleague and dear friend, Keith Ellison, for DNC Chair. Keith’s long history as an organizer who can energize the grassroots makes him the best choice to lead our party during this critical time. He knows that sometimes you have to have good trouble. You have to get in the way and raise your voice. But protest must be channeled into electoral and legislative success. Keith’s record standing with the grassroots means he is a trusted partner to harness this protest energy into rebuilding the Democratic Party.

The Teamsters (Worth noting that the Teamsters endorsed Ellison and not the most recent former Labor Secretary Tom Perez):

Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison to lead the Democratic National Committee. Rep. Ellison is a strong voice for working families and labor.

“It is time for the Democratic Party to get back to its roots and focus on the issues that matter most to workers – jobs, health care and retirement security. Rep. Ellison is a proven organizer who knows that these battles are won in the field, not the corridors of Washington.

The Nation: one of the oldest liberal/progressive publications in the United States.

The right response to this crisis is a retooling of the Democratic National Committee to align it more closely with movements for social and economic justice. The party must make the inside/outside connection that will strengthen immediate resistance to the Trump regime, while improving the long-term electoral prospects of Democrats. Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is prepared to do just that. In an impressive field of contenders for the position of DNC chair—including party leaders that The Nation has often praised, like former labor secretary Tom Perez, as well as energetic newcomers like Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana—it is Ellison who combines the ideals, skills, and movement connections that will revitalize the party.

DNC Chair Candidates React to Gorsuch Supreme Court Nomination

Sally Boynton Brown:

Ray Buckley:

“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.”

Pete Buttigieg:

Jehmu Greene:

Jaime Harrison:

“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.”

Tom Perez:

“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.