Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says he will not pursue the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairmanship.
“While I’m grateful to the supportive friends who have urged me to consider running for DNC Chair, I will not be seeking our party’s chairmanship,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
“The DNC needs a chair who can do the job fully and with total impartiality,” the former Democratic presidential candidate added. “The national interest must come first.
“In the days ahead, my family and I will continue to do everything in our power to fight for the Democratic Party, and for the more compassionate and inclusive country that we carry in our hearts.”
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Democrats are pondering their party’s future following Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s stunning presidential victory last week.
O’Malley first voiced interest in taking the helm of the DNC three days after Trump became the president-elect.
“I’m taking a hard look at DNC chair because I know how badly we need to reform our nominating process, articulate a bold progressive vision, recommit ourselves to higher wages and a stronger middle class, and return to our roots as a nationwide, grassroots party,” he said.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who formally launched his campaign on Monday, is the early favorite for the role.
Ellison has high-profile endorsements from retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid says he’s cancer free White House gets jolt from strong jobs report Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump MORE (D-Nev.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.).
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who ran the DNC from 2005 to 2009, is another contender.
South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison also entered the fray earlier this week.
Labor Secretary Tom Perez is reportedly also interested in the post, as is Illyse Hogue, president of the abortion rights organization NARAL Pro-Choice America.