America’s first Muslim congressperson, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), is formally launching a bid to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He is endorsed by forty elected officials (including party heavy-weights Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer), state party chairmen and labor leaders.
“We must champion the challenges of working families and give voters a reason to show up at the polls in 2018 and beyond,” Mr. Ellison said in a statement. “We must build a bench not just for federal candidates, but for state and local candidates across the nation.”
Hailing from Detroit, Mr. Ellison worked as a criminal defense lawyer before joining Congress. According to the Washington Post, “among his legislative accomplishments was authoring a provision of the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights in 2009 which prevents the practice of ‘universal default,’ which allowed lenders to increase the interest rates charged to customers if they had late payments with another lender.”
In the era of a Trump presidency, Mr. Ellison’s supporters say that his faith would send a strong message about the DNC’s commitment to diversity and yes, is even an added advantage.