NH Dem chair to enter DNC race Tuesday: report

NH Dem chair to enter DNC race Tuesday: report
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The chairman of New Hampshire’s Democratic Party will formally launch a bid for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairmanship on Tuesday, according to a new report.

Raymond Buckley, 57, is expected to start his run by vowing to serve as a full-time national chairman who will reconnect Democrats to their grassroots base, WMUR said Monday.

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In an email to members of the state party's executive committee — which came after WMUR first reported Buckley's plans — the chairman wrote that the national party is in need of “urgent reform.”

“I am writing you tonight to let you know that I will announce my candidacy for DNC chair," Buckley wrote. "I hope to bring what all of you have taught me over the years — elections are won in the grassroots not in D.C., or Concord, for that matter.”

Buckley plans to make the Democratic Party’s national structure more inclusive and intends to lead Democrats in “standing up to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBrennan fires new shot at Trump: ‘He’s drunk on power’ Trump aides discussed using security clearance revocations to distract from negative stories: report Trump tried to dissuade Melania from 'Be Best' anti-bullying campaign: report MORE and the D.C. Republicans,” according to a source familiar with his strategy.

WMUR said Buckley is expected to tout his status as the only DNC chairmanship candidate from outside Washington, D.C. If elected, he would be the first openly gay chairman of a national party, as well as the DNC’s first chairman from New Hampshire.

The chairmanship election is scheduled to occur during the DNC’s winter meeting, which is slated for Feb. 22 to 26 in Atlanta.

The DNC boasts 447 members, including six members from New Hampshire, 116 state party chairmen and vice chairmen, and 34 former state chairmen and vice chairmen. A candidate for the organization’s chairmanship needs the votes of 50 percent plus one from members present.

Democrats are debating their party’s future leadership following Trump’s stunning upset of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMueller recommends Papadopoulos be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison Poll: Dem opponent leads Scott Walker by 5 points Cuomo fires back at Trump: 'America is great because it rejects your hate-filled agenda' MORE in the presidential election earlier this month.

The Republican’s win over Clinton, the Democratic nominee, was unexpected as he trailed her in national polling averages as Election Day dawned.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), former DNC Chairman Howard Dean and South Carolina Democratic Chairman Jaime Harrison have all officially started campaigns for the DNC’s chairmanship. Labor Secretary Tom Perez and NARAL President Ilyse Hogue have also voiced interest in the role but have not formally entered the fray.

Buckley remained neutral during the 2008 and 2016 Democratic presidential primaries, according to WMUR.

The New Hampshire Democrat defended Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersRealClearPolitics editor: Moderate Democrats are losing even when they win Sanders tests his brand in Florida Ocasio-Cortez slammed for banning press from public event MORE (I-Vt.) this cycle against charges he was ineligible for the party’s nomination on account of his political affiliation.