Jaime Harrison to be next DNC chair: report
Harrison is currently the associate chair of the DNC
Jaime Harrison lost his bid to become the next senator of South Carolina but may soon find himself elevated to another position. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to choose Harrison as the DNC chair.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that Biden will tap Harrison to lead the Democratic National Committee. Biden is days away from being sworn into office, but sources said that picking Harrison to be the steward of the DNC is with a mind on the 2022 midterm elections and the belief that Harrison can play a pivotal role in maintaining the party’s political fortunes.
Harrison is currently the current associate chair and senior counselor at the DNC and formerly led South Carolina’s state party. He would succeed the outgoing Tom Perez, who has been in his post since February 2017. This decision to move forward with Harrison was widely expected, especially since Rep. Jim Clyburn endorsed Harrison for the seat.
Clyburn is credited for resurrecting Biden’s campaign with his critical endorsement. The South Carolina representative put his thumb on the scale for Harrison last November.
“Jaime’s unique life experiences will serve him well as chair,” said Clyburn. “He grew up in rural Orangeburg, South Carolina, and is well prepared educationally and politically to lead the DNC. His experiences as a state Democratic Party chair and associate chair of the DNC and his recent candidacy have provided him with a good understanding of local parties and organizations, and a heavy dose of empathy for candidates and their supporters.”
The 44-year-old let it be known that he’d be ready to lead if called upon after Clyburn’s endorsement.
“I can’t betray any conversations with Whip, but I know that it’s something that he seems to think that I could do. I’d put it that way,” Harrison told The Washington Post.
The rank and file were already expressing their support over Harrison taking over next month.
“Jaime will ensure all 57 state parties and territories have the funding we need to not only win elections but to also build up the infrastructure we need to organize year-round,” Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, told Politico. “We cannot afford to be a party that parachutes in resources at the last minute.”
Harrison’s likely appointment comes after he was vaulted into the national spotlight following his historical campaign to run against Sen. Lindsey Graham. He raised a record-breaking $130 million for a senatorial candidate but ultimately lost. Graham earned 55% of the vote to Harrison’s 44%.
In an exclusive interview with theGrio last October, Harrison noted that combatting racism was a reason why he entered the race.
“We can’t be silent in the face of bigotry, in the face of hatred and division. It’s important that all of us stand up and say enough is enough,” said Harrison.
“If folks can stand up … and just let their words be spoken through their vote, we will change the direction of this country, we will change the direction of the lives of many people, and we’ll bring hope back to communities all across this state.”
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