Joe Biden Endorses Tom Perez For DNC Chair

Former Vice President Joe Bidenon Wednesday endorsed former Labor Secretary Tom Perezs candidacy to chair the Democratic National Committee.

Ive known Tom Perez for a long time. Hes a man of integrity and vision, Biden said in a statement. And he knows what it means to be a Democrat that we are a party that fights for economic fairness for working families and believes that everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or who they love.

Biden commended Perez for being in touch with his working-class roots,and for successfully running the Department of Labor and, before that, the Department of Justice civil rights division.

Perez has raised more than $825,000 toward his DNC bid 73 percent from donations of $200 or less, according to a campaign aide. Former President Barack Obama indicated his preference for Perez, but hasnt formally endorsed any of the DNC candidates.Last Thursday, Perezrolled out the endorsements of top Texas Democrats, including three voting members of the DNC.

In a sign of the importance of Bidens endorsement, both Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Perezs chief rival for the top DNC post, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a top Ellison backer, issued statements praising Biden and reaffirming the merits of Ellisons candidacy.

Although Bidens backing provides Perez with a high-profile boost, the former vice president does not have a vote in the matter. Perez is courting the 447 state party chairs and other insiders who will elect the next DNC leader on Feb. 25 in Atlanta.

In addition to Perez and Ellison, other candidates include South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, South Carolina Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison, New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley, Idaho Democratic Party executive director Sally Boynton Brown, and Democratic strategist Jehmu Greene.

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