Jaime Harrison, who lost a costly race to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is reportedly the favorite to be the next Democratic National Committee chair, after Tom Perez announced he won’t seek reelection.
Harrison hasn’t announced a run for the seat, but he told The Atlantic he’d take a “good look” at running if asked. Perez’s term ends in February.
If he’s elected by the committee as chair, he’ll be in charge of providing support for party candidates in the 2022 midterm elections, when Democrats will be fighting to hold onto a majority in the House and fighting to either keep or win a majority in the Senate, depending on Georgia’s two Senate runoff races in January. And he’ll be in charge of uniting the party and formulating a platform that can’t fall back on the message of defeating President Trump.
He’ll also likely play a role in deciding which states hold the first presidential primaries in 2024. Some Democrats say they’d like to nix Iowa, which has trended Republican, from the No. 1 spot on the caucus calendar.
Harrison, the former South Carolina Democratic Party chair, set a record among Senate candidates when he raked in more than $100 million for his race against Graham. Graham, however, won reelection by a wide 10-point margin.
Harrison has the support of powerful Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn, Majority Whip, whose endorsement in the primary played a part in Biden clinching the nomination.
Clyburn told The Atlantic he’d supported Harrison’s run for DNC chair in 2017. “I think he’s better prepared than he was when I supported him the first time,” Clyburn said.
Clyburn said he hadn’t spoken with Biden about the DNC chair race, but “all of Biden’s friends know what I feel about it.” Members tend to vote for the president’s choice for the chair.