By Ridgley Knapp
** We’ll be posting information over the course of three days on each of the DNC candidates, starting with some of the least well-known and ending with some of the most prominent. Stay tuned for info on Buckley, Harrison, Pete (with a hard-to-spell last name), Perez and Ellison!**
One of the most crucial elections of 2017 is bearing down on us, but only a handful of people will vote in it (447, to be precise). The election for Chair of the Democratic National Committee, the leader of the Democratic Party, is taking place in late February. Maybe you’ve heard of Congressman Keith Ellison or Labor Secretary Tom Perez as candidates, maybe you haven’t, but there are seven candidates running. We here at UC Dems support different visions for our party’s future and, by extension, different candidates for Chair.
If you want a voice in the vote for chair, call your local DNC members [find a list of them here] and try and convince them. DNC membership is comprised of elected officials (your Senators, Representative, and Governor, as well as various mayors and state legislators), state-elected members, and state chairs and vice-chairs.
Of the seven candidates for DNC Chair, four did not receive written endorsement from members of the Dems. These candidates are Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley, former FOX news correspondent Jehmu Greene, and South Carolina Democratic Party Jaime Harrison. Two of them are discussed below today:
Sally Boynton Brown (@WeTheDNC)
Sally Boynton Brown declared her candidacy for DNC chair on December 16, 2016. She is a veteran of multiple successful campaigns for state representatives, as well as acting as Director of Operations for Keith Allred’s 2010 campaign for Governor. She had a meteoric rise through the ranks of the Idaho Democratic Party, joining as Field Director in January 2011 and being named Executive Director in April, 2012, a post she still holds. She has the backing of Idaho’s DNC delegation, as well as scattered support from other states.
Brown believes that “creating a service-oriented, innovative, resilient DNC for the 21st century will require a monumental cultural change. It will require everyone in the Democratic Party to start looking deeply at our own actions, assumptions, and judgements. We must become a service-based organization designed to meet the needs of our national institutions, 57 state party organizations, our general membership and every single citizen who needs an advocate on their behalf.”
Jehmu Green (@Jehmufordnc)
Jehmu Greene announced her candidacy for DNC Chair on January 13, 2017. Greene is a political commentator for FOX News and is the former president of Rock the Vote, whose membership under her leadership grew from 1,500 to over 1 million.
Her website lists her goals for the DNC, including to “prioritize ongoing, sustained investment in – and engagement of – local communities, so that we are having conversations beyond two-year election cycles”, to “make significant investments in states where our base is rapidly growing, even if electoral payoff isn’t immediate”, and to “develop a robust, diverse pipeline of candidates eager to advance our principles – and support them when they run”.