Survey: Controversial Rep. Keith Ellison Frontrunner for DNC Chair
A Democrat lawmaker who has been accused of anti-Semitism is favored to succeed interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile as head of the Democratic National Committee, according to a survey by The Hill.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who was involved with Louis Farrakhan's "Nation of Islam" for more than a dozen years, is leading the latest survey 105-57 over former Obama administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez.
During his first run for Congress in 2006, Ellison disavowed Farrakhan and his organization, which has been called "baseless repudiation" by the Nation of Islam as he mounted his DNC bid.
The Anti-Defamation League condemned comments Ellison made in 2010 regarding Israel, in which he stated that America's Middle East policy should not be decided by "what is good [for] a country of 7 million people."
Last year, Ellison said those comments were taken out of context and "selectively-edited," and he responded to the ADL's statement by saying his record instead shows support for Israel as well as an opposition to "racism, sexism and homophobia."
Ellison was also criticized for remarks made in a 2007 video, comparing the 9/11 terror attacks to the 1933 Reichstag Fire in Berlin, in which an arson attack on the German Parliament building was falsely blamed on Communists to help Adolf Hitler rise to power.
Supporters of Ellison point to the fact he was one of the first Democrats to warn the party to take then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign seriously, as well as his advocacy for progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), according to the Chicago Tribune.
Ellison's candidacy boasts the support of Sanders, as well as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), while Perez is said to have former Attorney General Eric Holder and Joe Biden (D-Del.) in his corner.
The election will be held this weekend in Atlanta, and also includes several other candidates including Sally Boynton Brown (D-Idaho) and former Chairman Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.).