- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 19, 2017

New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Raymond Buckley pulled the plug Saturday on his bid to lead the Democratic National Committee and threw his support behind Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

It is unclear how much support Mr. Buckley had among DNC members or whether those who did plan to vote for him would follow his lead when they gather next week in Atlanta to pick a new chairman.

But it comes at an opportune time for Mr. Ellison, who is thought to be battling it out with former Labor Secretary Tom Perez for the job.

The contest includes South Carolina Democratic Chairman Jaime Harrison; Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana; and Sally Boynton Brown, executive director of the Idaho Democrats, among others.

Mr. Buckley, a veteran operative who has served as president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, said Mr. Ellison is the party’s best bet to bolster state parties and overhaul the DNC following a series of election disappointments.

“Now, many candidates have spoken about these issues, but Keith’s commitment to the states and a transparent and accountable DNC has stood out,” Mr. Buckley said in a statement. “He knows elections are not won and lost in the beltway, but on the ground across the country.”

Before the announcement, NBC reported that Mr. Ellison has offered Mr. Buckley a role leading DNC operations.

Close aides did not refute the report and said that nothing ia off the table from Mr. Buckley’s perspective.

The endorsement comes a week before the 447 members of the DNC cast their votes for a chairman.

Mr. Perez claimed last week to have the support of 180 members — putting him 44 shy of the number needed to win.

Mr. Ellison pushed back, suggesting Mr. Perez was overestimating his support.


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