In an email to members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Congresswoman Watson Coleman announces early support for her colleague Rep. Keith Ellison to be the next chair of the DNC, She joins Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer and also Harry Reid, who just endorsed Ellison today. Howard Dean, whose 50-State Strategy drove a ver successful 4 years for Dems when he was chair (2005-2009) wants to be chair again. Dean makes the argument that DNC chairmanship is a full-time job that Ellison cannot do while holding a congressional seat. In recent years, Dean has become a lobbyist and very visible surrogate for Hillary Clinton. This week, Dean formally ended his role with Democracy for America (DFA). Blue Jersey was founded by Deaniacs who ran local and state groups of DFA (self included). There are other names that may get into the chair race, including the current Interim Chair Donna Brazile. On Thursday, DNC had its first staff meeting since Clinton’s loss, where a member of the staff screamed at Brazile for joining former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in plotting to help the “flawed” Clinton campaign.
Ellison is the co-Chair (with Raúl Grijalva) of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Watson Coleman is a member. Watson Coleman was a strong supporter of Secretary Clinton, Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, was a vocal early supporter of Sen. Sanders. Here’s BWC’s statement:
Hi — this is Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman from New Jersey.
The PCCC helped me launch my campaign in 2014 and I just won re-election. I’m a proud progressive and co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls.
I’m heartbroken about Tuesday’s presidential results. It will take a long time to get over. But we will pull each other through this — and out of the ashes will come something positive.
The Democratic Party needs some shaking up. It needs something new. It needs a DNC Chair that represents a younger, more strategic, more progressive, more diverse Democratic Party.
Keith supported Bernie Sanders for President. I supported Hillary Clinton. The entire Democratic Party will be proud with Keith as DNC Chair because he will lead with backbone and help us win again.
We serve together in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which Keith co-chairs and where I lead a weekly hour on the House floor giving the progressive message. We also are members of the Congressional Black Caucus together. And as a former New Jersey state party chair, I know what’s needed at the DNC.
Here’s a perfect example of how Keith will shake up the Democratic Party and the political establishment.
On July 26 of last year, Keith was on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos and said, “People terrified of the possibility of President Trump better vote, better get active, better get involved because this man has got some momentum, and we’d better be ready for the fact that he might be leading the Republican ticket.” They laughed at him.
Stephanopoulos said, “I know you don’t really believe that.” Keith did. He continued making the case. He was right.
Keith was also right to lead congressional progressives in support of many issues that PCCC members have rallied around — corporate accountability, debt-free college, expanding Social Security, voting rights, criminal justice reform, and many others.
Thank you for being a bold progressive.
— Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman