Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison Announces Bid for DNC Chair

The Minnesota lawmaker is considered to be the front-runner for the position.

— -- Rep. Keith Ellison formally announced his candidacy for chair of the Democratic National Committee today, an expected move by the Minnesota congressman who, with the support of several prominent Democrats, is considered to be the front-runner for the position.

"I am proud to announce my candidacy for Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and if given the opportunity to serve, I will work tirelessly to make the Democratic Party an organization that brings us together and advances an agenda that improves people’s lives," Ellison said in a statement today.

The congressman can count on the backing of a number of party leaders who emerged last week to support Ellison, widely viewed as a rising star in the party.

"My friend Keith Ellison is a terrific leader and a strong progressive who knows how to get things done," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement over the weekend. "Now is the time for new thinking and a fresh start at the DNC. Now is the time for Keith."

A progressive himself, Ellison was the first Muslim American elected to the House of Representatives upon winning his seat in 2006. The 53-year-old is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and sits on the Financial Services Committee.