Hope­fuls for DNC post sched­uled to square off

Chair­man­ship be­comes proxy bat­tle for soul of the party

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By John Wag­ner

Four Democrats who hope to lead their na­tional party through a time of di­min­ished power will face off Fri­day at a fo­rum in Den­ver.

The “Fu­ture of the Party Fo­rum” comes as the race for chair­man of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee has emerged as a proxy bat­tle for the direc­tion of the party with Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump pre­par­ing to en­ter the White House and Repub­li­cans re­tain­ing con­trol of both cham­bers of Con­gress.

The hope­fuls plan­ning to par­tic­i­pate Fri­day in­clude Ray Buck­ley, the chair­man of the New Hamp­shire Demo­cratic Party; Howard Dean, a for­mer gov­er­nor of Ver­mont; Keith El­li­son, a Min­nesota con­gress­man; and Jaime Har­ri­son, the chair­man of the South Carolina Demo­cratic Party.

Sev­eral oth­ers also are eye­ing the race, in­clud­ing Il­yse Hogue, the pres­i­dent of NARAL Pro-Choice Amer­ica, who this week laid out her vi­sion of where the DNC should head in a Medium post. The pro­pos­als from Hogue, who has yet to de­clare her can­di­dacy, in­clude re-ex­am­in­ing the Elec­toral Col­lege, in which Trump pre­vailed de­spite los­ing the pop­u­lar vote to Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton.

The most vis­i­ble of the con­tenders has been El­li­son, who has rolled out dozens of en­dorse­ments, in­clud­ing those of Sens. Bernie San­ders, I-Vt., and El­iz­a­beth War­ren, DMass. El­li­son, a fa­vorite of the party’s pro­gres­sive wing, also has the back­ing of some es­tab­lish­ment Democrats, in­clud­ing Sen. Charles Schumer, his cham­ber’s in­com­ing mi­nor­ity leader.

Buck­ley was men­tioned as a con­tender when it ap­peared to Democrats that Clin­ton would be in the White House, and his name has re­cently reemerged. Dean is seek­ing to re­turn to a post he pre­vi­ously held in which he cham­pi­oned a “50-state strat­egy.”

Har­ri­son is con­sid­ered a long shot, but his can­di­dacy got a boost Wed­nes­day from a let­ter sent to DNC mem­bers from Rep. James Cly­burn, D-S.C., urg­ing a vote for the fel­low South Carolinian. Cly­burn holds the lead­er­ship post of House as­sis­tant Demo­cratic leader.

The party’s next chair­man is sched­uled to be picked in Fe­bru­ary by DNC mem­bers from across the coun­try, who may or may not take their cue from elected of­fi­cials. The new chair­man will suc­ceed in­terim chair­woman Donna Brazile, a long­time Demo­cratic op­er­a­tive who stepped in after Rep. Debbie Wasser­man Schultz, D-Fla., re­signed in July and has since come un­der fire for leak­ing CNN de­bate ques­tions to Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Fri­day’s fo­rum, hosted by the As­so­ci­a­tion of State Demo­cratic Chairs, will be at 2 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Den­ver at Colorado Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, 650 15th St.

Ray Buck­ley, left, party chair­man in New Hamp­shire, is one of a hand­ful of Democrats hop­ing to lead the na­tional com­mit­tee. He and three oth­ers will par­tic­i­pate in a fo­rum Fri­day in Den­ver. Jim Cole, The Aso­ci­ated Press

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.