Tom Perez is getting some serious political backing under his candidacy to become the next DNC chair. Four Democratic governors are set to officially endorse his bid on Thursday.
Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, Louisiana’s John Bel Edwards, Colorado’s John Hickenlooper, and Rhode Island’s Gina Raimondo all will be endorsing the current labor secretary to lead the Democratic National Committee.
"I can tell you firsthand that Tom's work has made an actual difference in the lives of countless Americans. I've watched him lead large, complex organizations to success, and I know he will do the same at the DNC," Gov. Hickenlooper stated. The two had worked together in the past on reform to Denver’s police department.
Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo noted that Perez "has the determination, management skills and progressive values that speak to the diverse coalition of our party."
Louisiana Gov. Edwards said Perez "has a proven track record of winning for the working men and women of this country."
The endorsements from four (out of only 17) current Democratic governors will certainly tip the scale on Perez’s behalf as he battles Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison to lead the Democratic Party.
The Minnesota Democrat has a head start in terms of endorsements. Keith, a stalwart liberal, has received the backing of major progressives such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, ALF-CIO president Richard Trumka, and others. He had been considered the clear frontrunner until Perez entered the race.
If elected by the more than 400-member committee, Perez has promised to place focus where Democrats were hurt the most during the 2016 election: rural communities.
"We got our ass kicked in a lot of these rural pockets because we weren't there in sufficient force," Perez said of the 2016 race. "We've got to make sure we don't ignore rural America, because we do it at our peril."