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Perez, Ellison make their pitches to be DNC chair

Sunday, February 26, 2017 - 01:30

The frontrunners to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison, give their pitches as the Democrats vote on their next leader. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: After a brutal election loss in November, Democrats will vote for a new leader Saturday to begin the daunting task of rebuilding the party and heading the political opposition to Republican President Donald Trump. The frontrunners - former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison - gave their pitches to be the next chair. Perez is a favorite of former Obama administration officials and Ellison is backed by liberal leaders such as U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Perez is the son of Dominican immigrants, while Ellison was the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress. Other contenders are Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown, election lawyer Peter Peckarsky, and activists Jehmu Greene and Sam Ronan. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, dropped out of the race on Saturday. The stakes are high for a party still struggling to recover from the surprising Nov. 8 loss of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and anxious to channel the growing grassroots resistance to Trump into political support for Democrats at all levels of government across the country. The clash between candidates representing the establishment and progressive wings of the party echoes the bitter 2016 primary between Clinton and Sanders, a rift Democrats hope to put behind them as they turn their focus to fighting Trump. The election also offers the DNC a fresh start after last year's forced resignation of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who stepped aside after the release of hacked emails that appeared to show DNC officials trying to help Clinton defeat Sanders in the primaries.

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Perez, Ellison make their pitches to be DNC chair

Sunday, February 26, 2017 - 01:30