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Tags: US | Democratic | Chairman | The | Latest

The Latest: Democrats Need to Dust off Party Voting Rules

Saturday, 25 February 2017 11:16 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the selection of a new national leader of the Democratic Party (all times local):

9:55 a.m.

Democratic officials are in new territory with a competitive election for party chief.

In past races, a leading candidate usually emerged well before actual voting.

This time, there's a high likelihood that will take multiple rounds of voting for former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez or a Minnesota congressman, Keith Ellison, or a dark horse candidate to win a majority.

So, party staff and 442 eligible DNC members have had to dust off complicated rules that usually don't matter.

For example, party officials expect about 70 or 75 members to be absent. Nearly all have designated another member to cast paper proxy ballots on their behalf.

That will add a layer of suspense. Members in the room vote electronically, with quick tallies. But the paper proxies must be counted by hand.

9:35 a.m.

The Democratic National Committee has resumed its meeting in Atlanta and on the agenda later in the morning is the election of a new chairman to lead the party in the era of Republican President Donald Trump.

The top contenders are Tom Perez, labor secretary under President Barack Obama, and Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman. Other candidates are maintaining long-shot bids.

The election for party chief involves 442 eligible members of the national party committee. The winner must capture a majority of votes cast. The DNC will have as many rounds of voting as it takes for a new chairman to emerge.

Perez, Ellison and other Democrats agree on the need to rebuild the party at the state and local levels. They say those organizations then can capitalize on the widespread opposition to Trump by getting frustrated voters to elect more Democrats.

9:20 a.m.

Democrats are gathering in Atlanta to pick a new national chairman — and the vote seems to be coming down to Tom Perez, labor secretary under President Barack Obama, and Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman.

Those voting in Saturday's race include hundreds of state party leaders, donors and activists who make up the Democratic National Committee and determine the party's direction.

Perez supporters say he's on the edge of the required majority. Ellison says he's still a viable candidate.

A few other candidates are holding out hope that neither Ellison nor Perez can seal the deal — and that would open up the race for an upset in later rounds of voting.

The election is seen as the start of party rebuilding after Donald Trump's presidential victory.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Saturday, 25 February 2017 11:16 AM
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