Perez won’t take lobbyists' money for DNC election

Perez won’t take lobbyists' money for DNC election
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Labor Secretary Tom Perez will not be accepting contributions from federal lobbyists in his bid for Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, according to his campaign’s fundraising page.

Perez, who jumped into the DNC race last week, won’t take donations from lobbyists, foreign nationals or current Labor Department employees, his page states.

Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) have emerged as the leading contenders for the DNC position.

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President Obama has heaped praise on Perez and the two have met privately, though the president says he won’t endorse or get involved in the DNC race.

Ellison’s campaign website says he won’t accept contributions from federal contractors.

The other three candidates in the race are South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley and Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown.

The election will be held in late February.

Federal officials are barred from running political campaigns while in office, but there is an exemption for races within political parties.

The federal restrictions do still prohibit Perez from taking contributions from individuals and companies involved with the Labor Department, a restriction his website also spells out for prospective donors.

Ben Kamisar contributed.