Leading Democrats on Saturday chose former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to lead the party in its opposition to the agenda of President Donald Trump.
The establishment and progressive wings of the party were split involving Perez and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison over the final quite a few months. Some progressives mentioned they had been reluctant to fall in line behind Perez should really he win.
Perez has operate to do: In addition to losing the 2016 presidential race, the Democrats have lost dozens of Congressional seats and hundreds of state legislature seats more than the last several election cycles.
So who is Tom Perez? Here's every thing you have to have to know:
Tom Perez served as secretary of labor for three years immediately after getting appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2013. Just before that, he was labor secretary for the state of Maryland and was a civil rights lawyer for the Department of Justice. He's also a graduate of Harvard Law School. Perez was born to Dominican immigrants in Buffalo, New York. He has under no circumstances held elected office.
A group of far more than 400 best Democrats gathered on Saturday in Atlanta to cast their ballots to replace Interim Chair Donna Brazile. Perez fell one particular ballot short of a majority on the very first round of voting. He defeated Ellison by a 235-200 vote in a second round.
Perez lined up many high profile endorsements from former President Obama's orbit, including former Vice President Joe Biden, former Lawyer General Eric Holder and former Health and Human Solutions Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Bernie Sanders backed Ellison and former chair Howard Dean backed South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Obama and former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton did not endorse any person.
Perez's nomination for Secretary of Labor was divisive: He was confirmed 54-46 on a celebration-line vote soon after criticism from Republicans. Those in the Obama administration named him an helpful leader and manager. He worked closely on minimum wage problems. But in order to toe the Obama White Residence line, he backed the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The choice place him at direct odds with numerous main unions across the country.
The query now is whether Perez can unite many factions of the celebration and bring grassroots organizers into the fold. Perez named Ellison deputy chair of the celebration straight away after the vote. Several top progressive activists such as chairs of the Women's March and founders of the Men and women for Bernie organization remain skeptical of Perez. They lobbied difficult for Ellison and framed the race as an outsider against an insider, making the perception among a lot of that by electing Perez over Ellison the party was missing a important opportunity reach out and incorporate individuals who felt left out and on the fridges of the institution.
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