Democrats elect Tom Perez as new chairman

Washington, Feb 26 (IANS) Members of the Democratic National Committee elected former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as their new chairman, media reports said.

Perez, known as a civil rights advocate, won 235 of the 445 votes cast by the Democratic delegates meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, since Thursday to elect the new chairman of the DNC, Xinhua news agency reported.

After shaking hands with his rival for the position Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, Perez proposed a motion to name his “good friend” Ellison as Deputy Chairman of the DNC, and received unanimous consent.

Ellison accepted the position and asked his followers to support Perez starting today because Democrats cannot risk going forward divided.

“I’m asking you to give everything you’ve got to support Chairman Perez,” Ellison told his fellow Democrats.

Being backed by former Vice President Joe Biden, Perez was encouraged by Obama’s team to run for the position.

Democrats are submerged in a serious crisis due to the loss of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her run for the White House, as well as by their inability to win back the Senate from conservatives in the legislative elections last November.

At the same time, they could scarcely cut into Republicans’ majority in the House of Representatives, while suffering big losses at state and local levels.