Ellison open to leaving Congress if elected DNC chair

Ellison open to leaving Congress if elected DNC chair
© Greg Nash

DENVER, Colo. – Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonDemocrats face new civil war in primary fight 18 state attorneys general call on Justice Dept to release Mueller report Keith Ellison: Evidence points to Trump being 'sympathetic' to white nationalist point of view MORE (D-Minn.) said Friday that if he's elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee he'd consider leaving Congress in order to devote his attention to rebuilding the national party.

Speaking at a forum in Denver to a gathering of state party chairs, Ellison said he’s heard from DNC members who are only interested in electing a full-time chairman.

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Ellison insisted that he’d be able to do both jobs, but said he’s in the process of evaluating whether he’d consider giving up his seat in Congress for a role at the DNC that he views as more important.

“I’m in the process of deciding this issue and whether I can perform both roles,” Ellison said. “But will [the DNC chair] be my top priority? Absolutely.”

“I’ve talked with a lot of you and it’s become very apparent that many of you feel firmly about this,” Ellison continued.

“Though I love being in Congress — it allows me to serve my neighbors — I think it’s more important to build and strengthen the DNC and the Democratic Party. And so the election is Feb. 24. There’s still many I have to talk to. I’m hoping you’ll keep your minds open as we continue to talk."

Ellison is the front-runner to be the next DNC chairman, but having the next chair serve in the position full-time as been a major sticking point for many who will be voting.

When former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean dropped out of the DNC race on Friday, he urged members to only elect a chairman who is committed to making the position a full-time job.