Ending My Campaign, Supporting Tom Perez

My Fellow Democrats:

I decided to run for DNC Chair because we need to rebuild the Democratic Party in every community in America.  We need to transform our Party from just being a political organization looking for votes every two or four years and become a community organization working in our neighborhoods addressing day-to-day issues faced by middle and working class voters.  We have to rebuild every State Party so that we can compete in every state and territory.  We have to stop ignoring and start investing in building a long term strategy to win in red states like my beloved South Carolina.

Last night’s CNN debate presented a tremendous opportunity to make my case to the Democrats domestically and across the globe.  I am grateful for the overwhelmingly positive feedback from emails, calls, and tweets about the debate.  Nonetheless, this is an election where victory is secured by garnering 224 votes out of 447.  In a former job, I whipped votes for House Democrats.  I know what a path to victory looks like.  Despite strong performances at the debate and DNC regional forums, the votes are simply not there for me to secure victory on Saturday.  But this election is not about the individuals in the race; it is about unifying and rebuilding our Democratic Party.

Therefore, today, I am ending my campaign for DNC Chair, but I am more confident than ever that our Party will come back strong.  I am confident because I have seen tremendous progressive energy all across our country and the commitment of State Party leaders to channel this energy into winning elections.  I am confident because of the amazing Democratic talent running for various positions at the DNC, including a field of stellar candidates for DNC Chair.

In particular, I am confident because we have a candidate for DNC Chair who can unite the Democratic Party behind the goal of enacting progressive change, a candidate who can take the fight to Donald Trump and rebuild our Party infrastructure, and a candidate whom I, as a voting member of the DNC, am proud to support: Tom Perez.

Tom and I have dedicated our careers to helping people through public service. Through hard work and perseverance, we have both lived the American Dream, and we are both committed to enacting the progressive policies that are needed for all Americans to have the opportunities that we had. We both know that in the age of Trump and the rubber-stamp Republicans, the only way to enact the progressive change we need is to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. We both know that to make this happen, our Party organization needs to be rebuilt from the grassroots up in every single ZIP Code, with all of our State Parties (including Territories and Democrats Abroad) playing a central role. Tom will get this job done.

Tom Perez has brought integrity, passion, and tenacity to every job he’s ever had. I have had a front-row seat to these qualities in the many debates and forums we have participated in. These qualities are why Barack Obama and Joe Biden trusted him to spearhead an economic agenda that brought us out of the recession. They are why Eric Holder trusted him to enforce our civil rights and voting rights laws so that everyone is treated equally under the law and has access to the ballot box. And they are why I trust Tom to lead the Democratic turnaround as Chair of the DNC.

With so much at stake, our next Chair will lead the fight of a generation. We must all fight side by side. I’m standing by Tom Perez’s side, and I hope you will join me in doing the same.

If we stand together with Tom, we’ll rebuild the Democratic Party, win up and down the ballot in every state across the country, and enact a 21st century progressive agenda.


Jaime Harrison

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