Perez elected chairman, Ellison named deputy

Tom Perez elected as first Latino leader of Democratic Party. Photo: Maryland State Archives/MGN.
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ATLANTA (AP) - Democrats have a new national party chairman and it's Tom Perez, who was labor secretary under President Barack Obama.

Perez won over Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman, in the second round of voting Saturday by Democratic National Committee members at their meeting in Atlanta.

In a show of unity, Perez asked members to make Ellison the deputy.

Perez and Ellison each pledged to rebuild state and local parties, including in Republican-dominated states. Both said the party must capitalize on widespread opposition to Trump but also work to reach frustrated working-class voters who abandoned Democrats and embraced Trump.

Obama has congratulated Tom Perez on his election and commended his decision to ask Ellison to be his deputy.

Obama said in a statement that he knows "Perez will unite us under that banner of opportunity, and lay the groundwork for a new generation of Democratic leadership for this big, bold, inclusive, dynamic America we love so much."

He is the first Latino to hold the post.