Monday, February 27, 2017

New DNC chair Tom Perez says party ignored many rural areas and needs to pay attention to them

Tom Perez Sunday on "This Week"
Newly elected Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said the party has to make a concentrated effort to win back rural areas, Hayley Walker reports for ABC News. Perez beat Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison 235-200 on a second ballot Saturday, after falling one vote short of election on the first ballot. He named Ellison deputy chair.

Appearing Sunday on "This Week," Perez told George Stephanopoulos, “We didn't invest enough in grassroots organizing. We ignored rural swaths of America. We need an every zip code strategy. We need to redefine the role of the DNC so that we're helping to elect people from the school board to the Senate." Perez was elected DNC chair on Saturday.

In television interviews Perez pledged "to unite a fractured party, rebuild at all levels from 'school board to the Senate' and reach out to chunks of rural America left feeling forgotten in the 2016 election," Hope Yen and Bill Barrow report for The Associated Press. "The former labor secretary in the Obama administration acknowledged that swaths of the U.S. had felt neglected, saying he had heard from rural America that 'Democrats haven't been there for us recently.'" Perez stressed a grass-roots efforts in all 50 states, telling reporters, "A lot of people feel forgotten, and we will not allow that to happen."

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