Jaime Harrison may have lost the battle, but he may win the war. After losing a close Senate race to Sen. Lindsey Graham, Harrison has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Tom Perez as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Sources close to other leading candidates like former Georgia state House Rep. Stacey Abrams and former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp indicated that they are not interested. Still, Harrison must beat out former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, former Sen. Claire McCaskill and former Sen. Al Franken.
“Jaime’s unique life experiences will serve him well as chair,” Rep. Jim Clyburn said.
“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.”
If Harrison pulls through as the party's next chair, he will face a stiff midterm election season in 2022. While Democrats regained control of the White House, the party lost key seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Not to mention, the Republican Party still has the ability remain in control of the Senate. In order to keep their momentum going, the Democratic Party will need a voter who can energize voters and keep them engaged post-Trump.
“In the arc of history, defeating President Trump was the most important thing that happened in 2020, but the fact that we lost some key House and Senate races and did not pick up statehouses is a red flag telling us that there’s still a ton of work to do,” Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper said.
“The job will be immediate for the next person who comes in. There were a lot of troubling down-ticket losses, and a bad cycle in 2022 could make things very difficult for us.”
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