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FILE - In this June 22, 2016, file photo, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez speaks at a news conference in Washington. Perez plans to officially announce his candidacy for the head of the Democratic National Committee on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, according to Democrats familiar with his effort. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

In his first political act since leaving office, Biden endorsed Tom Perez for DNC chairman


In his first political act since leaving office, former Vice President Joe Biden announced his endorsement of Tom Perez as chairman of the Democratic National Committee over competitor Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Biden described the former secretary of labor as a "man of integrity and vision."

He added, "And he knows what it means to be a Democrat that we are a party that fights for economic fairness for working families and believes that everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or who they love."

Perez's endorsement by one of the highest officials in the Democratic party follows a demoralizing election in which the Republican party was able to sweep majorities in the executive and legislative branches. As head of the Democratic party, Perez will be responsible for reuniting a party that's been troubled by institutional changes, such as the resignation of former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in August after a trove of leaked emails suggested she had favored Clinton during the primary season against Sen. Bernie Sanders. 

Schultz's replacement, Donna Brazille, came under scrutiny as well after a separate batch of emails indicated she provided Clinton with answers before debates.

According to Biden, Perez will be able to rise to the challenge. 

"We have a lot of good people vying for this important job," Biden said. "But I do think for this moment and in this time, Tom Perez is our best bet to help bring the party back. I've watched him work. I think I know his heart. That's why I endorse him as the next Chairman of the DNC."

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