- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor whose appeal with minorities was questioned during his presidential race, won support yesterday from several key black Democratic National Committee members in his bid to be DNC chairman.

Mr. Dean, one of seven candidates for the position, won the support of Yvonne Atkinson Gates, chairwoman of the DNC’s black caucus; Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. of Illinois; and Minyon Moore, a longtime DNC member and former aide to President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Dean stirred controversy during the presidential primary campaign by saying he wants “to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” He later said he had done a poor job of making a legitimate point about the need to expand the party.

Yesterday, Mr. Dean also announced the backing of Bob Farmer, former finance chairman for Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign, and Joe Cari, a former finance chairman for the DNC. Mr. Dean also is getting the backing of former national party chairmen David Wilhelm and Steve Grossman, who was a key supporter in his presidential race.

In another development, MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group, announced plans to get involved in the race for DNC chairman.

The involvement of the group, which mounted an active Internet and grass-roots effort during the presidential campaign, initially would seem to help Mr. Dean — with the organization calling for election of a chairman who will express “strong opposition to Republican extremism” — though it also could help build opposition from the centrist wing of the party.

Other candidates for the DNC post have been collecting endorsements from DNC members and past party leaders, though none have been announcing DNC endorsements at the same pace as Mr. Dean.

Opponents say Mr. Dean can get a third or half of the DNC votes needed to win, but will have trouble winning a clear majority of DNC members.

Other candidates for the position are former Texas Rep. Martin Frost, New Democrat Network founder Simon Rosenberg, former Indiana Rep. Tim Roemer, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, Democratic strategist Donnie Fowler and former Ohio Democratic Chairman David Leland.

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