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 SandersBernie SandersHickenlooper day-old Senate bid faces pushback from progressives Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Andrew Yang: News coverage of Trump a 'microcosm' of issues facing country MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (D-Mass.), incoming Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Schumer says Trump encouraging anti-Semites Saagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? 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.