In a statement by their president, Richard Trumka, major labor organization AFL-CIO has endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison to be the next Democratic National Committee chairman.
"Representative Ellison meets the high standard working people expect from leaders of our political parties,” Trumka stated. “He is a proven leader who will focus on year-round grassroots organizing to deliver for working families across America. Under his leadership, the Democratic Party will embody the values that our members stand for every day."
The Democrat from Minnesota responded in gratitude and said he will make labor a priority if he becomes the leader of the Democratic party.
"The AFL-CIO knows the challenges facing America’s working families and how to speak to working Americans of all colors, genders, and backgrounds,” Ellison replied. “I am proud to be on their side and I am even prouder that the AFL-CIO is on mine. Workers will be central to the Democratic Party."
The endorsement essentially assures Ellison victory in the race for DNC chair. This is also after former Vermont governor and previous chairman Howard Dean exited the race Friday – leaving Ellison with lesser-known adversaries to battle.
South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison and New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley are still vying for support, however. The only seemingly possible scenario that could lead to Ellison’s demise is if his past remarks concerning American foreign policy and Israel attract more attention. Upon entering the race for DNC chair, his comments on American relations in the Middle East and his defense of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan have been interpreted by many as anti-Semitic.
Leaving any trace of doubt among liberals, Ellison announced publicly Wednesday that he would resign from Congress should he win the chairmanship. Many had pointed out that the previous occupant of the position, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, was also a member of Congress. They said holding two jobs is unfeasible and would translate to a poor job performance as Democratic leader.
Ellison gained traction when former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders endorsed him before officially entering the race. The representative of Minnesota’s 5th district is also well-known as the Congress’ first Muslim member.