Sunday, February 26, 2017
ATLANTA: – Democrats elected former labor secretary Tom Perez to lead the party at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee here Saturday night. Perez, becomes the first Hispanic to lead the party, after beating Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison 235 votes to 200 on the second round of balloting.
The vote capped a month long — sometimes contentious, campaign which exposed raw emotions and a continued split reminiscent of that which existed between the Bernie Sanders’ supporters and those of Hillary Clinton in last year’s primaries.
In this contest, Perez was viewed as the establishment candidate, while Ellison was backed by Sanders and his supporters. Sensing an urgent need to heal the divisions in the party, Perez won immediate and unanimous backing to name Ellison as deputy chairman.
Both men acknowledged the enormous task ahead for Democrats, following the loss of the White House, the senate and the house following last November’s elections. The party is also in the minority in State houses across the country and holds few seats in State Governorships.
Vowing to “lead the charge against Trump,” Perez told the meeting that by “getting back to basics, we can turn the Democratic Party around, take the fight to Donald Trump, and win elections from school boards to the senate.”
Under Perez, Democrats will also seek to find a way to channel the widespread opposition to Republican law makers now sweeping the country into a cohesive force and an eventual voting block.
The opposition is mostly against plans by the Republican led congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.