Biden Taps Jaime Harrison To Lead Democratic National Committee

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Jaime Harrison, seen here after conceding the South Carolina Senate election to Sen. Lindsey Graham on Nov. 3, is President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to be DNC chair.

Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

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Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

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If voted in, Harrison, 44, will be charged with leading Democrats into what’s expected to be challenging midterm elections in 2022.

He’s already proved himself to be a formidable fundraiser.

During his unsuccessful campaign last year for the Senate against incumbent Republican Lindsey Graham, Harrison raised more than $130 million — a record for a Senate campaign — including $57 million raised in the final fall quarter alone.

Although his candidacy failed — Graham won by roughly 10 percentage points in the red state — Harrison gained national name recognition.

And picking him to head the DNC highlights Democrats’ continued incursion in Southern, traditionally Republican states, after the party swept Senate seats in Arizona and Georgia in recent months.

DNC members will vote for leadership positions later this month. As Politico notes, «When Democrats win the White House, this vote is typically a formality that ratifies the president-elect’s choices.»

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As to what the party could expect with Harrison at the helm, Harrison himself offered a blueprint during his failed bid for DNC chair in 2016.

«We can’t just be focused on the White House. If we do what we have to do on a state level, then the White House is gravy,» he told NPR’s David Greene in December of that year.

He added: «I bring a different perspective. I will probably be the — if elected chair — probably the only person that’s ever been on food stamps that’s been chairman of the Democratic Party, the only chair that will have over $160,000 of student loan debt. I mean, I can relate to the story of so many in this country who started behind the start line and now are trying to become successful.»


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