Tom Perez addresses the audience after being elected Democratic National Chair during the Democratic National Committee winter meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. February 25, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Berry
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Opposition Democrats on Saturday chose Tom Perez as their new leader, tapping an establishment figure to lead the fight against President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress.Perez, a labor secretary under former president Barack Obama and the party's first Hispanic-American leader, immediately named the contest's runner-up, leftist lawmaker Keith Ellison, as the party's deputy chairman.The fight over who would chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) appeared at times to be a proxy battle between the supporters of defeated 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her leftist primary rival Bernie Sanders.Perez, who won 235 votes against 200 for Ellison -- a strong Sanders supporter -- was seen as the establishment pick.Perez succeeds interim chair Donna Brazile, who took over after Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz was ousted in mid-2016 when leaked emails showed that some DNC members, who are pledged to be neutral in presidential primaries, favored Clinton over Sanders.
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