Democratic National Committee Has a New Chair
Tom Perez defeats Rep. Keith Ellison on Saturday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2017 2:54 PM CST
Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was voted the new chair of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

(Newser) – Tom Perez was elected as the new chair of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday, replacing interim chair Donna Brazile, Politico reports. Perez, who served as Labor secretary under Barack Obama and is a former civil rights lawyer, won during the second ballot after falling a single vote shy in the first round of voting, according to Yahoo News. Perez's victory ends a four-month race during which he campaigned on returning to organized labor as the central economic message of the Democratic Party.

Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, finished second in the race for DNC chair. Despite having a similar message to Perez, Ellison was backed by Bernie Sanders while Perez was backed by members of the Obama administration and was seen as the establishment choice, the Hill reports. He's now faced with reuniting those two opposing factions of the party. NBC News tweets that Perez's first move as chair was to make Ellison deputy chair. Ellison then told his supporters to "give everything you've got" to help Perez succeed, MSNBC tweets.

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