Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is likely to gain the majority of votes in his bid for chair of the Democratic National Committee, according to a Wednesday report from The Hill.
Ellison holds the lead over establishment-backed former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, winning at least 105 of the 240 DNC members voting in the election this weekend. Perez has 57 supporters in the group, according to the report.
Although Ellison is more likely to win, he will likely need to pass through several votes in order to get to the 224-vote threshold needed in order to actually claim the position.
“Whoever is going to win is likely going to win on multiple ballots,” former DNC spokesman Mo Elleithee told The Hill.
“All of the public posturing, the big endorsements—none of that matters. It all comes down to the 447 voting members, and they want to know who is going to be able to rebuild the infrastructure of the DNC. Whoever can best walk into this weekend answering that question…walks in with an advantage.”
Each of the other candidates hold about 12 votes each, and the lowest-earning candidates will be forced out of voting after the second round.
Perez announced earlier in February that he had 180 pledged votes, but that number conflicts greatly with The Hill’s report. It should be noted that neither candidate released their internal whip list.
“We are confident in the support Tom has received and are working hard every day to have one on one conversations with state parties and DNC members,” Perez spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa said.
“Many of our supporters have requested that we not release their names publicly due to fear of unwanted calls and other harassment. We believe these members deserve our respect.”
Ellison enjoys the full support of the progressive wing of the party, earning endorsements from Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Chuck Schumer over the course of the campaign.
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