Jockeying heats up for DNC chairmanship
A trio of House members enters the mix, but they're seen as underdogs to Jennifer Granholm, Ray Buckley and Jaime Harrison. By HEATHER CAYGLE and DANIEL STRAUSS
Jockeying to lead the Democratic National Committee under a potential President Hillary Clinton has kicked into high gear, with a trio of House members joining a growing list of potential contenders.
Rep. Keith Ellison, an early Bernie Sanders supporter and the first Muslim elected to Congress, has been actively working back channels to make his interest in the position known. Also in the mix are Rep. Xavier Becerra, the outgoing House Democratic Caucus chairman and an aggressive Clinton surrogate; and retiring Rep. Steve Israel, who led House Democrats’ campaign arm for years.
The House members would probably be underdogs to take the helm of the DNC, which has been wracked by controversy and upheaval. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-Fla.) tumultuous stint atop the committee could spook Clinton, assuming she wins, from appointing another House member, Democratic insiders said.
The early front-runners for the post are believed to be former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison. All have ties to Clinton and her campaign.
Other names mentioned are former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, former DNC CEO Minyon Moore, a confidante to Clinton, and EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock.
Whoever lands the job isn’t likely to have much autonomy: Assuming Clinton wins, the DNC will operate as a subsidiary of the White House.
“I thought it was a great job myself,” said Howard Dean, who was DNC chair during George W. Bush’s second term. “I only had to answer to myself and the DNC. It’s a much tougher job when you have the White House.”
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