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 SandersDrugmaker caps insulin costs at to help diabetes patients during pandemic The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Sen. Brown endorses Biden for president MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation Warren releases plan to secure elections during coronavirus pandemic On The Money: Trump officials struggle to get relief loans out the door | Dow soars more than 1600 points | Kudlow says officials 'looking at' offering coronavirus bonds MORE (D-Mass.), incoming Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHealth care workers account for 20 percent of Iowa coronavirus cases Pressure mounts on Congress for quick action with next coronavirus bill Schumer names coronavirus czar candidates in plea to White House 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.