Despite suffering the presidential loss last November, Democrats have come together to elect a new leader this weekend. The Democratic National Committee 2017 Winter Meeting voting will commence Saturday after candidates engaged in a lively debate Wednesday night.
Candidates looking to fill the DNC spot include Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg, South Carolina Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison, former Fox News political analyst Jehmu Greene and executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party, Sally Boynton Brown.
The position of the new chair will replace Donna Brazile, who joined the team as an interim following Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation last July. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez are the noted frontrunners.
“We have to up our game,” Perez had told NPR in January when he discussed running for DNC chair. “And the reason I’m running is because we have to make sure that we providing help and partnership with the state parties. Organizing has to be a 12-month endeavor.”
Rounds of voting will begin Saturday to confirm the new DNC head. To place on a ballot, a candidate needed 20 signatures of the 447 voting members. The voting process could carry on for as many voting rounds as necessary until 224 votes are achieved, according to NPR.
“It is going down to the wire,” a DNC vice chairwoman from Utah, Breanne Miller, had told The Hill Friday about the DNC face-off. “I’ve heard crazy things like it will be 10 ballots … For a lot of people it will be their first contested DNC election, so I don’t think there’s any way to know how it will shake out. There’s a lot of talk that if the top two don’t get it, everyone will swing to another person. I don’t know. Everyone will be learning on the fly.”
The DNC 2017 Winter Meeting voting will commence Saturday in Atlanta at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. CNN is expected to have a live stream at CNN Go while television coverage will be available on C-SPAN Saturday at 10 a.m. EST.
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