Ellison pushes to become next DNC chair
© Getty Images

Rep. Keith Ellison has officially jumped into the race to lead the Democratic Party. 

ADVERTISEMENT
 
"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 SandersVolatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' British Bookmaker: Warren has replaced Biden as Democratic primary favorite MORE (I-Vt.), outgoing Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason Reid2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care Reid says he wishes Franken would run for Senate again Panel: How Biden's gaffes could cost him against Trump MORE (Nev.) and likely future Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAppropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down Trump ahead of New Hampshire speech: Lewandowski would be 'fantastic' senator 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 MurphyOvernight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces White House eyes September action plan for gun proposals Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control MORE (Conn.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPoll: Nearly 4 in 5 say they will consider candidates' stances on cybersecurity The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (Minn.), Reps. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Mark PocanMark William PocanTrump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Liberal Democrat eyes aid cuts to Israel after Omar, Tlaib denied entry Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax 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.