Bernie Sanders, the runner-up in the 2016 race for the Democratic nomination for president, celebrated after Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee on the eve of the party’s national convention in Philadelphia.
“Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party,” said Sen. Bernie Sander (D.-Vt.), who won 1,846 delegates to the 2,205 delegates won by Hillary Clinton, the presumed nominee.
Sanders said that with Wasserman Schultz gone, it was time for the party to make critical reforms.
“While she deserves thanks for her years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people,” he said. “The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.”
“She should resign, period,” Sanders said. “I think we need a new chair who is going to lead us in a very different direction.”
Many of the emails demonstrated, in shocking details, how staff of the DNC conspired against Sanders–even proposing to plant a media narrative in Southern states that the senator was an atheist.
Brad Marshall, the DNC’s chief financial officer, emailed colleagues: “It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
The Democratic National Convention begins Monday. Wasserman Schultz said in a statement that she will still gavel the proceedings and address the convention.