The longest-serving member in the House of Representative Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) has endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to be the next Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
“I am proud to support my dear friend and Detroit native, Keith Ellison, for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee,” Conyers said in a statement obtained by the Progressive Army. “For the last several years, he’s been leading the Congressional Progressive Caucus here in the House where he has remained true to the progressive values which are at the core of this great nation.”
Ellison formally announced his candidacy on Monday and had the backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Over 550,000 Sanders supporters signed a petition supporting the Congressman from the Gopher State. Ellison also has the support of prominent Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and incoming Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Sen. Warren thinks that “[Ellison] would make a terrific DNC chair,” but did not formally endorse the congressman.
Keith Ellison would be the first Muslim to hold the position of DNC Chairman.
Many progressives who backed Senator Sanders during the Democratic primaries have negative views towards the previous two DNC Chairs. Emails leaked by Wiki Leaks showed that the former Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), was biased towards Hillary Clinton and colluded against her rival Bernie Sanders during the primaries. This led to the resignation of the former Chair. The interim Chair Donna Brazile was also implicated in the emails, showing that she leaked Town Hall questions to the Clinton campaign.
Ellison will face a challenge from a long list of hopefuls including Labor Secretary Tom Perez, former Maryland Governor and former presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, South Carolina Party Chair Jaime Harrison, New Hampshire Chair Ray Buckley, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, and former DNC Chair Howard Dean.
Here is the full text of Rep. John Conyers, Jr.’s statement:
Washington, DC – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the dean of Congress and Ranking Member for the House Committee on the Judiciary, today released the following statement in support of Congressman Keith Ellison’s candidacy for Democratic National Committee Chair:
“I am proud to support my dear friend and Detroit native, Keith Ellison, for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. For the last several years, he’s been leading the Congressional Progressive Caucus here in the House where he has remained true to the progressive values which are at the core of this great nation. He is a visionary, a fighter, and he is needed now more than ever as we approach the next four years with Republicans controlling every branch of government. Keith Ellison deserves to be at the helm, steering us forward, as our party fights to protect our core values and enhance the quality of life for every American, not just a select few.”