>> And rebuild. We've got an America that needs your help.>> The race to chair the Democratic National Committee's shaping up as a battle for the party's heart and soul as it still smarts from a disastrous loss to Donald Trump in the presidential election.>> It is about opportunity.
>> The latest contender to throw his hat in the ring, Labor Secretary Tom Perez.>> We got work to do across this country.>> Highly regarded by President Obama and a top surrogate for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign. Perez, the most prominent challenger to take on Congressman Keith Ellison.
A staunch Bernie Sanders supporter vowing to focus on the party's working class roots.>> If we're gonna keep on fighting together->> Perez and Ellison could be something of a replay of the contentious primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. With Sanders progressive wing and Clinton's centrist wing battling for control.
Political reporter John Whitesides.>> Well, these two parts of the party have been at odds for the last year. Now we can have it again in the DNC election. The party would like to see these two wings coming together to sort of rally around the job of opposing Donald Trump.
>> Normally, Perez would seem to have the advantage. But Ellison has ridden Bernie Sanders cache to a slew of early endorsements from key party figures. Like incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the AFL CIO, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio.>> After every election, the losing party has to go through trying to figure out what they stand for and where they go from here.
Democrats find themselves in much the same position they were in after the 04 election when John Kerry had lost. Republicans were talking about becoming a permanent majority party, Democrats were in despair. Howard Dean stepped in as DNC chair, with a 50 state strategy to build the party from the ground up and recapture the White House in 08.
>> The real question is,>> What are we gonna do.>> A divisive battle for party control could sidetrack the party's efforts to take on President Donald Trump squarely as he works to roll back much of President Obama's legacy.