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Perez creates advisory team for DNC transition
New Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has picked 30 people to join a transition advisory team to help him wade through key issues facing the party as it looks to rebuild after a tough 2016.
The group's roster runs the gamut of the party, including many of Perez's top rivals during his bid for DNC chair. In a statement, the party announced that the committee will advise Perez on "building a party that reaches into and represents every corner of America."
"Our Democratic turnaround will be a success because everyone has a seat at the table," Perez said in the statement.
"So I'm honored to have such a talented and diverse group of leaders guiding our transition process. Together we'll right the ship and get the Democratic Party in a position to take the fight to Donald Trump and the Republican Party and win."
Former Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu and longtime party strategist Leah Daughtry will serve as the commission's co-chairs.
Former DNC chair candidates Sally Boynton Brown, Pete Buttigieg and Jehmu Greene will join the committee, as will party vice chair candidates Latoia Jones and Rick Palacio.
The group of 29 includes Democrats with a variety of experiences, showing what the party will emphasize as it rebuilds.
It includes a mix of well-connected party strategists like Daughtry; Rebecca Lambeformer, a former aide to former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); Simone Ward, a former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and DNC aide; and former DNC Chair Don Fowler.
It also includes activists like DeRay McKesson and Astrid Silva, along with freshman Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), a progressive endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). McKesson is a key civil rights figure who played a major role in the Black Lives Matter movement, and Silva is an undocumented immigrant who recently gave a Spanish-language response to President Trump's state of the union.
And there are also former elected officials who with experience in rural areas or red states, including former Alaska Sen. Mark Begich and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
The new group represents an early effort by Perez to begin to answer the pressing questions vexing the party, which saw winnable presidential and senatorial elections slips through its grasp on Election Day and lost almost 1,000 state legislature seats since 2008.