Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison has lost his bid to become the new Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, edged out in elections on Saturday in Atlanta by a narrow margin in a win by former Obama Administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez, the first Latino to hold the post.
The vote was tight; the victor was required to win 218 out of 435 votes. Perez won 235 to the 200 won by Ellison. Both men appealed for unity as each of them spoke after the results were announced.
Perez immediately asked Ellison to join him as his deputy chair.
Ellison responded in a statement, “I look forward to helping the Democratic Party in any way that I can.
“We’ve got earnest, sincere work to do under Chairman Perez,” he said, “and all of us and all of you are going to help him.”
Perez spoke after Ellison, and according to The Guardian, said Democrats were “suffering from a crisis of confidence, a crisis of relevance.” But he promised to take the fight to President [Donald] Trump, and to support Democrats against Republicans in elections across the country.
The party has been deeply divided for months over Ellison’s history of ties with anti-Semitic individuals and his negative positions on Israel.
Last week Harvard law Professor Alan Dershowitz said he’d quit the Democratic Party if Ellison won the race to head the DNC.