With Muslim Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison’s star fading, Democrats have been searching for someone else to jump into the race for chairman of the Democrat National Committee. Now, at the urging of many Democrats, Obama’s Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, has announced his entry into the contest to lead the party.
“Now more than ever, I believe we need a full-time chair who can inspire people, grow our party and speak to its broad tent,” Mr. Perez said in his announcement posted to the website mic.com. “And we need a chair with the leadership and management experience to protect the progress we’ve made and keep us moving forward.”
“We also need a leader who will strengthen our party from the ground up, engaging and empowering Democrats at every level in all 57 states and territories to fight for liberty, equality, justice and opportunity,” he added.
In his post, Perez related he is the Spanish-speaking son of Dominican immigrants and recounted his entire biography for those unfamiliar with him.
As DNC Chair, Perez would be a continuation of the Obama influence on the DNC, having not only served as Labor Secretary but also in Obama’s Department of Justice.
Perez has been in the hunt for some political position or another for well over a decade. Starting in 2002, the 55-year-old native of New York made several attempts to run for office in Maryland, some successful, some not. That ended in 2007 when he was confirmed as Assistant Attorney General. In 2013 Perez was appointed by Obama as Labor Secretary.
Perez was also thought to have been high on Hillary Clinton’s list for Attorney General if she had won the White House. Even as that hope was dashed, there were some reports that he was mulling another run for Maryland Governor. Instead he has thrown his hat in the ring for head of the DNC.
Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, has already spoken in favor of the Labor Secretary, according to the Washington Times.
Schaitberger said, what Perez “has demonstrated to our union and members is that while he is a strong progressive, he is also committed to a strong economic platform and message that appeals to the broader electorate, rather than narrowly focusing on the identity and cultural messages that shrunk the support for the Democratic party in the last election.”
“Secretary Perez’s successful experience running a massive operation at the Department of Labor, while also serving as an advocate for workers at every level of government — local, state and federal — makes him a serious leader for a party that needs guidance and experience at the top if it is going to broaden its appeal to all voters in future elections,” Mr. Schaitberger added.
Perez obviously sensed his opening after Representative Ellison’s bid for the position ran into a wall after it became known that he was a big supporter of Louis Farrakhan, the Islamist anti-Semite leader of the Nation of Islam.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.