Tom Perez has been chosen to lead the democratic party into the Donald Trump era.
In a 235-200 vote, the former labor secretary was elected over Minnesota representative Keith Ellison which was largely seen as a blow to the liberal wing of the party.
Via the Washington Post:
“With hard work and a hell of a lot of organizing, we will turn this party around,” said Perez, his voice hoarse after a week that took him to 10 states, locking up the final votes he needed from the 447-member DNC.
“We’ve got to come out of here hand in hand, brothers and sisters, because Trump is right outside of that door,” said Ellison before the final vote, which was 235 to 200 in favor of Perez on a second ballot.
Endorsed by President Barack Obama and largely the pick of the more establishment end of the DNC, Perez is was a civil rights attorney and former assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the Department of Justice. He was nominated and confirmed as the 26th secretary of labor in 2013 and served until January of 2017.
Despite however that apparent blow to liberals, Perez (who becomes the DNC’s first hispanic chair) shares many of the same positions as Ellison. This includes refocusing the party on small donors and online fundraising.
Needless to say despite the outcome of today’s election, Perez has to be very aware of the outside direction of the party. With the success of Bernie Sanders in the primary and defeat of Hillary Clinton in the general election it’s clear the DNC may need to shift further left and engage themselves more so with the American workers, something Donald Trump and the GOP did very well leading up to last November. If Perez isn’t cognizant of this democrats could continue to see themselves as the minority in Washington and lose out on the White House once again in 2020.