BREAKING: Tom Perez Elected DNC Chair

February 25th 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

On Saturday, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted to confirm former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as the next DNC Chair. In this position, Perez will be the Democratic Party’s face as they seek to rebuild their party infrastructure and take back Congress in 2018. Perez is the first Latino chair of the Committee

Perez’s victory is certain to spark a backlash on the left as he was seen by many as the establishment candidate fielded by the White House to defeat more ostensibly progressive candidates like Keith Ellison. During his acceptance speech, Perez offered Ellison a position as the Deputy Chair of the DNC.

Before Perez’s confirmation, a previous contentious vote took place in which no candidate reached the threshold for victory. In the second ballot, Perez racked in 235 votes, 35 more than Ellison. 

The theme of unity was stressed repeatedly during the proceedings, by both Perez and Ellison.

“We don’t have the luxury to walk out of this room divided,” Ellison told the room.

“We are united in our love of the Democratic Party,” Perez said in his first speech as Chair-elect, before imploring that a united Democratic Party could ensure a one-term presidency for Donald Trump.

Perez, who supports moving toward a $15 minimum wage and also supported the Trans Pacific Partnership, was a vocal surrogate for Hillary Clinton during the presidential election.