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Rep. Keith Ellison has officially jumped into the race to lead the Democratic Party.
The Minnesota Democrat is already working to establish himself as the progressive choice for the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) reckoning after Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book MORE's shocking loss to Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE last week in the presidential election.
"Democrats win when we harness the power of everyday people and fight for the issues they care about. It is not enough for Democrats to ask for voters' support every two years. We must be with them through every lost paycheck, every tuition hike, and every time they are the victim of a hate crime. ... We must begin the rebuilding process now," he said in a statement.
He 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.
"The real issue is vision, where are you going to take the party," Ellison said. "My vision is to focus our attention on strengthening the grassroots, put our priority on voter turnout, and to campaign 365 days a year and then talking door to door with people in their neighborhoods and in their communities."
Ellison touted his work ethic in response to a question about former DNC chairman Howard Dean, who is also seeking the job and has said he thinks it should be a full-time position for whoever holds it.
"I have a work ethic that people who know me know that nobody’s going to outwork me," Ellison said. "I’m going to be tireless working all the time and I’m going to be making sure that the message gets to the people."
"This is not a job just for one person, we’re going to raise and inspire millions of people all over this country, anybody who thinks this is just one guys who is going to do everything, it’s not true, my vision will be to empower people across the grassroots."
Ellison already has the backing of a handful of Democratic heavyweights — including former presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (I-Vt.), outgoing Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda Justice Breyer issues warning on remaking Supreme Court: 'What goes around comes around' MORE (Nev.) and likely future Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (N.Y.).
His campaign for leader also released a slew of other endorsements as a show of force, including Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyTell our troops: 'Your sacrifice wasn't in vain' Sunday shows preview: Bombing in Kabul delivers blow to evacuation effort; US orders strikes on ISIS-K White House seeks to regain control on Afghanistan MORE (Conn.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Seven takeaways from California's recall election Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate MORE (Minn.), Reps. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Mark PocanMark William PocanBiden seeks to build Democratic support among unions Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — A warning shot on Biden's .5T plan Overnight Defense & National Security — America's longest war ends MORE (Wis.) and DNC vice chairman R.T. Rybak, as well as the Minnesota, Wisconsin and Hawaii Democratic Party chairs.
Ellison is the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and he was an outspoken supporter of Sanders's presidential bid.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is considering a bid, as well.
Updated 8:44 p.m.