Convention Began Without Wasserman Schultz on Stage

Embattled DNC chair replaced by Baltimore mayor, who gaveled the confab to order

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been under fire for months from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders over accusations of favoritism toward Hillary Clinton's campaign in the Democratic presidential primaries. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been under fire for months from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders over accusations of favoritism toward Hillary Clinton's campaign in the Democratic presidential primaries. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted July 25, 2016 at 2:28pm

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz did not open the Democratic National Convention as initially planned in Philadelphia Monday night.   

“I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention,” she told Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper in a phone interview.  

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The outgoing chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee has been under intense pressure  since leaked emails showed that some of her subordinates were actively promoting Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the party’s presidential primaries and even discussed whether or not to use Sen. Bernie Sanders’ religion as a talking point. Wasserman Schultz said Sunday that she would be resigning at the end of this week’s convention.  

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake replaced Wasserman Schultz on the podium to start the proceedings.  

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Sanders addressed his supporters on Monday and applauded the news of her departure from the party committee. 

“Her resignation opens up the possibility of new leadership at the top of the Democratic Party that will stand with working people,” the Vermont senator said.   

Wasserman Schultz is facing an Aug. 30 primary challenge in Florida’s 23th District from Tim Canova , who has been endorsed by Sanders.


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