In what comes down to a national-sized duel between U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Tom Perez, former secretary of labor in the Obama Administration, the lions share of members of the New Jersey Democratic Committee this morning are prepared to get behind Chairman John Currie for Perez.
Members of the delegation expressed confidence in victory after Jamie Harrison, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, dropped out of the contest last week and backed Perez.
Democrats from New Jersey – a union-friendly state with over one million members in the AFL-CIO – celebrated Perez as a labor champion and civil rights lawyer who won several cases here in the Garden State. The candidate’s critics fingered him as an instrument of the establishment, unveiled as a rumble strip to halt that wing of the party that backs Bernie Sanders, who endorsed Ellison. Needled in text messages over Perez’s less than telegenic presence, sources pushed back, making the case for Perez as a humble and engaging leader.
Earlier today, South Bend, Indian Mayor Pete Buttigieg abandoned his own candidacy, underscoring Perez v. Ellison.