Labor Leaders Endorse Ellison for DNC Chairman

Minnesota congressman picks up high-profile backing from AFL-CIO

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO shown here on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in July, said Rep. Keith Ellison “meets the high standard working people expect.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The executive council of one of the country’s largest labor union collectives officially endorsed Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison on Thursday for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. 

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, tweeted out a statement explaining the federation’s decision. 

“Rep. Ellison meets the high standard working people expect from leaders of our political parties,” Trumka said.

“He is a proven leader who will focus on year-round grass-roots organizing to deliver for working families across America,” he said. “Under his leadership the Democratic Party will embody the values that our members stand for every day.”

The announcement comes after Ellison confirmed rumors that he would resign his House seat if elected to head the DNC in February.

The five-term congressman decided against trying to pull double duty when fellow Democrats expressed concern that a sitting representative wouldn’t be wholly devoted to party-building. 

“The AFL-CIO knows the challenges facing America’s working families and how to speak to working Americans of all colors, genders, and backgrounds,” Ellison said in the same statement.

“I am proud to be on their side and I am even prouder that the AFL-CIO is on mine. Workers will be central to the Democratic Party,” he said.

Ellison has endorsements from influential Democrats including Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and outgoing Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid

He is currently up against New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley and South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison for the DNC’s top job. 

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