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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Ellison had a head start and has racked up endorsements from Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll O'Rourke tests whether do-it-yourself campaign can work on 2020 stage MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll Omar controversies shadow Dems at AIPAC MORE (D-Mass.), incoming Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis Schumer4 in 5 Americans say they support net neutrality: poll GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar MORE (D-N.Y.), and top unions including the AFL-CIO and American Federation of Teachers.

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.