Will a Muslim Congressman head the DNC? Keith Ellison wins the support of Bernie Sanders and Harry Reid before he has even announced his own candidacy
- Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison is backed by Bernie Sanders, Harry Reid, and Elizabeth Warren to become next chairman of the DNC
- He is an African-American who became first Muslim elected to Congress
- He appeared on ABC's This Week on Sunday, urging the party to galvanize a grassroots movement and said a decision to run would come 'real soon'
- Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who served as the DNC chair when President Barack Obama was elected, is also in the running
- Chair will be elected in 2017 to replace Interim chair Donna Brazile
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in July after her emails were hacked; Brazile was hit in a similar scandal
- DNC is in disarray after Republicans swept presidency, Senate and House
Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison is backed by Bernie Sanders, Harry Reid, and Elizabeth Warren to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Ellison, an African-American who became the first Muslim elected to Congress, has not officially announced his candidacy and said on ABC's This Week the decision would come 'real soon'.
The Democratic Party faces a crisis after the Republicans swept the presidency along with the Senate and House of Representatives.
Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison has not officially announced his candidacy for DNC chair, but heavyweights in the Democratic party were enthusiastic about his leadership
Sanders announced his endorsement and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Ellison was 'a strong progressive who knows how to get things done'
Sanders (pictured, his website) said Ellison was 'someone who would be enormously effective in leading the Democratic Party against President Donald Trump'
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid endorsed Ellison on Sunday, calling him a 'terrific leader and a strong progressive who knows how to get things done.'
He also added: 'Now is the time for new thinking and a fresh start at the DNC. Now is the time for Keith.'
Sanders also announced his endorsement in a letter to supporters and said: 'The Democratic Party needs to look itself in the mirror and work tirelessly to become once again the party that working people know will work for their interests....
'That’s why I believe that Rep. Keith Ellison is the right person to lead the Democratic National Committee.'
Former DNC chair Howard Dean (pictured) is also in the running
'Keith is one of the most progressive members of Congress, and he was an early supporter of our political revolution.
'He is a co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, a strong believer in grassroots politics, and someone who would be enormously effective in leading the Democratic Party against President Donald Trump.'
Senators Charles Schumer and Elizabeth Warren also backed Ellison, along with organizations like MoveOn.org and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Warren told MSNBC: 'I really, really like Keith. I think he's terrific and I think he would make a terrific DNC chair.'
She was not as enthusiastic in her support for former Vermont governor Howard Dean, saying: 'I haven't talked to him. Fine. I'd like to hear what his vision is. But I want lots of Democrats in, engaged and ready to go."
Dean, who served as the DNC chair when President Barack Obama was elected, has also thrown his hat in the ring, championing a 50-state strategy, which targets the entire country rather than concentrating on specific areas.
Dean told MSNBC Friday that Ellison is 'a very good guy' but said: 'There’s one problem: You cannot do this job and sit in a political office at the same time. It’s not possible.'
That's how Democrats got themselves in this mess in the first place, he assessed.
Former Maryland Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley says he's also interested in the job, with more names to be expected in the running.
But Ellison remains a favorite, with many turning to him as someone who can energize voters and lead a grassroots movement.
Since July, when then-DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned the day before the party's week-long presidential nominating convention began, progressives have told DailyMail.com they favor Ellison for the job.
Ellison was hailed in conversations as a 'bridge builder' who holds a leadership post as deputy whip and endorsed Sanders. And, he's Muslim, they pointed out, a nod to the party's efforts to promote diversity.
On Sunday, Ellison appeared on 'This Week,' giving an analysis of what went wrong for his party. He urged the party to 'animate and empower [working class] at the grassroots level'
A new chairmain will be elected in 2017 to succeed Interim chair Donna Brazile (left), who took over after Debbie Wasserman Schultz (right) resigned
On Sunday, Ellison appeared on 'This Week,' giving an analysis of what went wrong for his party and how to turn things around.
He said: 'I love the donors and we thank them, but it has to be the guys in the barber shop, the lady at the diner, the folks who are worried about if their plant is going to close -- they’ve got to be our focus.
'They have got to be a laser-beam focus on everything we do, and everything we do should animate and empower them at the grassroots level for working people across this country. That’s how we come back.'
Ellison says fewer Democrats voted in the 2016 presidential election than four years ago because the party's message of strengthening the middle class "didn't come through" in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and other states.
A new chairmain will be elected in 2017 to succeed Interim head Donna Brazile, who was mired in controversy after emails published by Wikileaks revealed she had leaked questions for CNN-sponsored events to the Clinton campaign.
Brazile took over from Wasserman Schultz, who resigned in July after WikiLeaks released emails showing that DNC staff had discussed scuppering Sanders' run for the Democratic nomination.
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