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Former Vice President Joe Biden 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 Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Schumer (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.

Tags Bernie Sanders Chuck Schumer Democratic National Committee DNC Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden

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