'I will be all-in'
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a leading contender to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Wednesday he would step down from his congressional seat if he won the chairmanship. Ellison's admission in an interview with the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune came after many Democrats made it clear they were not comfortable with electing another party leader who would be juggling the chairmanship with another role; former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz retained her House seat as a Florida congresswoman while she held the post. More than 400 of the DNC's voting members had said they would not vote for Ellison if he intended to hang onto his seat.
The chairmanship election, slated for Feb. 23, 2017, arrives as many in the Democratic Party rally for change after crushing defeats in the last two elections and Schultz's resignation this summer just ahead of the Democratic National Convention. "I have learned one thing: Democrats are ready for a massive comeback," Ellison told the Star Tribune. "Whoever wins the DNC chair race faces a lot of work, travel, planning, and resource raising. I will be 'all-in' to meet the challenge."
Two other contenders — the state party chairs in New Hampshire and South Carolina — have also officially thrown their hats into the ring to be the next DNC chair.