Biden endorses Perez for DNC chair
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenLosing the fight against corruption and narco-trafficking in Guatemala Group aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Why Joe Biden (or any moderate) cannot be nominated MORE is backing Tom Perez's bid to lead the Democratic National Committee (DNC), he announced Wednesday.

Biden, who served with the former Labor secretary during the Obama administration, lauded Perez as a "man of integrity and vision."

"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," Biden said of Perez in a statement.

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"We have a lot of good people vying for this important job. 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."

Biden's endorsement marks the highest-profile Democrat to weigh in to the race, with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) another top contender.

Perez jumped into the race with the support of those close to the White House, so Biden's announcement publicly codifies that support.

Ellison responded to Biden's endorsement of his rival in a statement, saying that Biden is "known for loyalty to people he has worked with."

"I think we can all agree that the DNC Chair must be the choice of the rank-and-file Democratic Party members across the nation," Ellison said in the statement.

Both Perez and Ellison have so far cobbled together the most high-profile endorsements, with Perez receiving the backing of former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe while Ellison has won support from lawmakers including Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWomen's March plans 'Medicare for All' day of lobbying in DC Group aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Why Joe Biden (or any moderate) cannot be nominated MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction Group aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Day 27 of the shutdown | Cohen reportedly paid company to rig online polls, boost his own image | Atlantic publishes ‘Impeach Donald Trump’ cover story MORE (D-Mass.) and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Cardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid MORE (D-N.Y.).

But none of those lawmakers make up the 447 DNC members who will vote in the contest.

Other major candidates for DNC chair include Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Fox News commentator Jehmu Greene and South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison. 

Updated: 1:04 p.m.