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”
According to a DNC email that went out this morning shortly after the start of the Forum, there are four additional candidates running for chairman, bringing the total field of candidates to 11. The four newcomers are:
Peter Peckarsky, Wisconsin
Sam Ronan, Ohio
Vincent Tolliver, Georgia
Robert Vinson Brannum, Washington, D.C.
I’ll add more biographical/political details about them as I get them.