South Carolina Dem chair joins DNC race
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The chairman of South Carolina’s Democratic Party on Monday announced he's seeking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairmanship. 


“Count me in, I’m throwing my hat in,” Jaime Harrison said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show" Monday night.

"Everything I am is because of this party.”

Harrison said he received some pushback when he was still considering a run, but he dismissed his critics and is using his personal story as motivation in his longshot run.

“When you start from nothing and you work and you pour yourself into building yourself up ... you’re not going to have anybody stand in your way and say you can’t do it,” he said.

The state Democratic party chairman has lived and worked in Washington, D.C., for 12 years and said he is taking unpaid leave from his job at The Podesta Group.

Harrison called for a stronger 50-state strategy, which is a nod to former Vermont Gov. and onetime DNC Chairman Howard Dean, who is mounting another bid for DNC chairman.

"We have to go into a 50-state strategy plus," Harrison said. "But we have to ramp that up and make sure that we’ve investing in all our state parties and we’re building the next bench of Democratic talent." 

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Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) announced earlier on Monday that he was formally running and has received a handful of high-profile endorsements that including outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info Poll: 47 percent back limits on Senate filibuster MORE (D-Nev.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (I-Vt.). 

Ellison appeared on MSNBC Monday evening to further promote his bid for the leadership role. He's the first Muslim elected to Congress and is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Dean announced his bid last week. He led the party as chairman from 2005 to 2009 and oversaw major Democratic gains. 

Other potential contenders who have expressed interest are former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Labor Secretary Tom Perez.