Members of Congress, DNC Members Endorse Jaime Harrison for DNC Chair

Columbia, SC--Several members of Congress and the Democratic National Committee endorsed Jaime Harrison’s campaign for DNC Chair today: Reps. John Larson, Marcia Fudge, Bennie Thompson, Sanford Bishop, former Reps. John Spratt and John Barrow, former Del. Donna Christensen, and DNC Members Donald Fowler, Kaye Lingle Koonce, Carol Fowler, and Clay Middleton.

Their statements are below.  Coming from a wide range of places, backgrounds, and perspectives, all agree that Jaime’s plan to rebuild the Democratic Party, resist Donald Trump and the Republicans with an inclusive agenda, and reinvigorate our democracy is the best way to move our Party forward.

Rep. John Larson (CT): “As a member of House Leadership, I had an opportunity to work side by side with Jaime while he served as Executive Director of our Caucus.  His dedication, collegiality, and strategic mind have always been second to none and were essential to the effectiveness of our Caucus.  Jaime successfully united our Caucus because he understood that our Party, at its core, is about confronting struggles faced by the middle class and those striving to enter the middle class.  He understands these struggles because he lived them and overcame them.

Far too many Americans are still struggling.  To rebuild after this year’s defeats, the Democratic Party must reach out to all Americans, including those who haven’t supported Democrats in many years.  We can no longer write off any region, state, or community, including and especially areas like the South where our Party has the most room to grow.  Jaime has been building bridges in these communities his entire life.

As someone who cares deeply about the future of our Party, I am excited to see so many talented, qualified candidates putting their name forward to lead the DNC. Jaime, though, is best suited to–as he did with our Caucus–unite Democrats and refocus our message and outreach so that we can once again be seen as the Party best suited to strengthen the middle class and reinvigorate the American Dream.”

Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH): “Jaime and I are both former congressional staffers. Senior Hill staff and leaders in general must be able to expertly manage an organization. Jaime did this in the House of Representatives, he’s done it at the South Carolina Democratic Party, and he’ll do it at the DNC.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS): “I’m supporting Jaime because he knows that a 50-State Strategy isn’t just about winning elections in all 50 states; it’s about helping people in all 50 states. Similar to me, Jamie has endured years of Republican governance in his home state of South Carolina.  He has seen first-hand the devastating impact that Republican policies have on working families. Jaime has the knowledge, experience, and vision to lead the DNC to victory.”

Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA): “Jaime is the DNC Chair we need to grow our Party in rural areas like my congressional district.  While my constituents are racially diverse, they share similar economic challenges.  Only the Democratic Party has the solutions to lift up rural America, but we still need to earn the trust of those communities.  From his upbringing in rural Orangeburg, South Carolina, Jaime has spent his entire life earning that trust.  He is the candidate who can earn our Party the trust of rural communities across the country.”

Former Rep. John Barrow (GA): “Jaime brings diverse groups of Democrats together to get things done.  I know because I was one of the Democrats he brought together when he led Congressman Clyburn’s Whip operation in the 110th Congress.  He always listened to Members’ concerns, built trust, knew the issues, and masterfully got more than 218 of us to ‘yes’ time and time again.  Now more than ever, we need a uniter like Jaime at the DNC.”

Former Rep. John Spratt (SC): “Leading the Democratic Party in a red state like South Carolina isn’t easy and hasn’t been for decades.  Jaime signed up at an especially difficult time–in the midst of an adverse national political climate, a lack of commitment to the 50-State Strategy, and Republican gerrymandering that virtually eliminated competitive districts like the one I used to represent.   I knew Jaime was the right person for that job then, and I know he’s the right person for this job now. I had the privilege to work with him in the House.  No one else has his combination of energy, intelligence, compassion, and savvy.  At this tough time, our Party needs Jaime and he has my support. I hope he will have yours.”

Former Del. Donna Christensen (VI): “Jaime knows the importance of a 57-States-and-Territories Strategy.  When I worked with him in the House, he treated those of us from the Territories with the same respect as any other member of the Caucus.  Our communities have unique challenges that only the Democratic Party is equipped to address, so it is particularly important to us to have a friend as DNC Chair.  Jaime is a great friend.”

Donald Fowler, DNC Member, Former National Chairman of the DNC (SC): “Today, now more than ever, the DNC needs a strong Chair who can simultaneously rebuild our Party organization while taking our Democratic message to every corner of the country.  Jaime Harrison is the one candidate with the skills and experience to excel at both of these roles.  Under his leadership, Democrats will be well positioned to win the votes we need so we can make Jaime’s story of upward mobility the rule, not the exception, in communities like his hometown of Orangeburg, South Carolina.”

Kaye Lingle Koonce, First Vice Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party: “Of all our great candidates, I believe Jaime has the best combination of personal qualities, experience and expertise to serve as our next DNC Chair. I base this on my experience as a Democratic Party volunteer of almost 50 years.”

“Jaime has gone from rural Orangeburg, SC to Yale University; from teaching high school and serving as a non-profit leader to to Floor Director for the House Majority Whip; from serving six years as the volunteer Party Vice Chair & Chair in our small red state and serving as a Southern regional representative on the DNC Executive Committee to running for DNC Chair. In every challenge and opportunity, Jaime has proven he has the tenacity, creativity, and ability to achieve the goals he sets while motivating grassroots volunteers, elected officials, and donors.”

“Jaime will make us proud as he leads Democrats to victory from our courthouses to the White House. I hope you’ll join me in supporting him.”

Carol Fowler, DNC Member (SC): “Over a period of over 20 years as a DNC member I have served under a good many National Chairs. Some made a big difference to our party and its ability to win in the states, and some were barely relevant. The most effective have come to the job with real, hands-on experience and involvement in a state party, as a chair or a governor who saw the necessity for a strong, permanent organization that can win elections at every level. That’s why I am supporting Jaime Harrison–he knows where the Democratic Party needs to go and he will take us there.”

Clay Middleton, DNC Member (SC): “If we are to gain political seats at every level of government, prepare a bench of talented leaders to run for office, serve as campaign operatives and in party leadership positions, we need a DNC Chair who has the ability to lead our organization from such a concept to a reality.  And we need a Chair who can hold the Trump Administration and Republican controlled Congress accountable.  Jaime has the energy, passion and capability to do this on the public stage as well as in the trenches.”

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