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.

Firefighters Union Endorses Perez for DNC Chair

Tom Perez pulled off a hat trick with organized labor today, following up his endorsements by United Farm Workers and United Food and Commercial Workers by earning the endorsement of the International Association of Firefighters for his campaign to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The statement reads in part:

In the race for Chair of the Democratic Party, our union believes Tom Perez is the person who has the right mix of personal background, progressive values, experience and total commitment to all workers, in all regions and states across the country to do just that.

To have Tom as the Chair of one of our nation’s two major political parties would be a significant victory for workers across America.

This endorsement represents a break from the AFL-CIO – which the IAFF is a part of – which endorsed Keith Ellison on December 8.

Tom Perez Picks Up Two Labor Union Endorsements

Outgoing Secretary of Labor Tom Perez picked up two big labor union endorsements in his run for DNC chairman. From United Farm Workers:

Tom Perez is a civil rights leader, a labor champion and an organizer who has successfully run large organizations. That is why the United Farm Workers endorses him to lead the Democratic National Committee. This is the first time the UFW has ever backed a candidate for chair of the DNC, but these are different times and Tom Perez is a different kind of candidate.

We need a leader who can get things done, not one who will divide our country. We need a unifier who has stood for the very values for which Cesar Chavez fought. That person is Tom Perez.

From United Food and Commercial Workers:

The Democratic Party is at a crossroads, and it needs leaders with strong progressive voices as well as unique skills and experiences to lead the party forward. While there are a number of very good candidates in the DNC chair race, Tom Perez offers the party what it so desperately needs – bold leadership and ideas, strong experience managing an organization at the state and federal level, and someone singularly focused on rebuilding the party across the country.

In light of the challenges the party faces, Secretary Perez has the experience and vision for the changes the DNC must make, and is the right leader who can make these changes happen. We enthusiastically support his candidacy.”

 

AFL-CIO Endorses Keith Ellison in DNC Chairman Race

The AFL-CIO released a statement this morning endorsing Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The key part of the statement:

“Representative Ellison meets the high standard working people expect from leaders of our political parties,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “He is a proven leader who will focus on year-round grassroots organizing to deliver for working families across America. Under his leadership, the Democratic Party will embody the values that our members stand for every day.”

UPDATE: NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald points out a key caveat to the AFL-CIO endorsement:

The endorsement comes with an asterisk, critics note, as Ellison’s name was the only one on the AFL-CIO endorsement ballot. Trumka gave voters just three options: Support Ellison, make no endorsement, or abstain.

Harold Schaitberger, the president of the firefighters’ union, blasted the endorsement in a letter to Trumka, calling it a “contemptible…attempt at a coronation.” Schaitberger, whose union less progressive than others, added that the outcome “will not be the ‘unified endorsement’ that you hope to proclaim.”

The other thing to keep in mind is the possibility that the outgoing Secretary of Labor Tom Perez might decide to throw his hat in the ring for DNC chairman, though there are also rumors he is considering a run for the Maryland governor’s race in 2018.