>> The next chair of the Democratic National Committee, Mr. Tom Perez.>> Out of a contentious race for party leadership, a show of unity from Democrats eager for a comeback.>> I would like to begin by making a motion.>> I'm Justin Mitchell in Atlanta, where Democrats just narrowly chose Tom Perez to be the new Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
The race was tight,with Perez, who served as Barack Obama's Labor Secretary, barely edging out progressive Congressman Keith Ellison. But while Ellison's supporters expressed outrage almost immediately, the two men surprised the room by coming together right away.>> To appoint Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
.>> Internal divisions were the theme going into this contest. The party leadership race in many ways echoing the 2016 Democratic primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. On the surface Perez and Ellison have a lot in common. They are both progressives who are widely liked in the party.
But while Ellison was quick to endorse Sanders when he announced his longshot run, Perez campaigned equally hard for Hilary Clinton. Perez entered the contest late. Some Ellison supporters say Perez stepped in solely to stop Ellison from making inroads into party leadership. And bringing Bernie Sanders progressive populism more deeply into the Democratic fabric.
But while there was a loud contingent of Ellison supporters in Atlanta, it was Perez who won over the slim majority of actual DNC members, who seemed less willing to embrace the enthusiastic progressivism of the Sanders wing. Opting for a progressive candidate with a much shorter list of grievances with how the party has operated.
>> Both Perez and Ellison agree on one thing, that the Democratic party needs to focus more on grass roots level organizing. And now with them working together, that's likely to be the focus. But Ellison has proven the he and the Democratic Party's insurgent left wing are a force to be reckoned with.
And Perez seems to realize that he needs them as he reboots the Democrats ahead of the 2018 midterms and beyond.