Image Credits: Alex Wong / Getty Images

On February 25th, 2017, Thomas Perez was elected as the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, a position most recently held by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile. His election concluded the first contested race for the position in over 30 years. Democrats hope it will set the tone for a united Democratic Party going forward, as they face off against Donald Trump in 2020 and many strong Republican candidates in Congress in 2018. Currently, Democrats only hold 16 of 50 governorships. Who is Tom Perez? For many, his name may ring a bell, but he’s not Elizabeth Warren or Harry Reid, always out there putting their face on TV. Let’s take a closer look at Tom Perez and some of the things you should know about him.

  1. He is the first Latino leader of the Democratic Party and the son of Dominican immigrants. His father gained citizenship by enlisting in the army after World War II.

  2. To win his position, Perez had to beat out his opponent, Keith Ellison, a Congressman from Minnesota who is the first Muslim in Congress. He won with 235 of the 435 votes.

  3. He’s getting a lot of flack for not including supporters of his opponent on the DNC transition team. Only 2 of 29 people appointed to this team supported Ellison.

  4. Keith Ellison, the loser of the DNC Chair race, will serve as the deputy chairman under Perez

  5. Perez is 55 years old and was raised in Buffalo, New York.

  6. He ran three Boston Marathons before a knee injury sidelined him.

  7. Perez served as President Obama’s Labor Secretary from July 2013 to January 2017.

  8. Tom Perez graduated from Harvard Law and while there clerked for Ronald Reagan’s Attorney General, Edwin Meese.

  9. Perez was brought in in 2012 to investigate the shooting of Trayvon Martin under the umbrella of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department

  10. It was widely suspected that Tom Perez would get a nice job in a Hillary Clinton administration. His name was even floated for the role of vice president.

  11. He and his wife Ann Marie, a lawyer with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, have three children.

  12. His dream job is being the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. He played baseball throughout high school.

How do you feel about the new DNC Chair? Do you think he’ll do better or worse than Debbie Wasserman Schultz (May her career Rest in Peace) or even Donna Brazile? Here at FFL, we’ll keep you up to date on what’s going on in every party.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member