Jaime Harrison may not have won a Senate seat in South Carolina, but it’s clear he still left a big impression on Joe Biden. According to multiple outlets including The New York Times, the president-elect will name Harrison to lead the Democratic National Committee.
A former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Mr. Harrison became a national political star last year as he shattered fund-raising records in his race against Senator Lindsey Graham, who was up for re-election. While Mr. Harrison lost in November, drawing 44 percent of the vote to Mr. Graham’s 55 percent, he developed a broad bench of support across the party.
While Harrison didn’t win, his fundraising was impressive. He brought in more money in a single quarter than any other Senate candidate in history.
Back in December, Politico wrote that “Rep. Jim Clyburn, one of President-elect Joe Biden’s most influential allies, is pushing hard for Jaime Harrison to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.”
With Clyburn’s backing and support from several state party chairs, Harrison — a former South Carolina party chairman himself — is inching closer toward becoming the next leader of the national party.
“I’m sure it’s his for the asking,” said James Zogby, a DNC member who previously served on the party’s Unity Reform Commission. “He’s been a state chair. He knows what it’s like. He knows the other state chairs. They are the heart and soul of the party.”
Tom Perez, the current chair is not running for re-election. The Atlantic reports:
If he’s named as chair, Harrison will inherit an organization in significantly better shape than it was when Tom Perez took over in 2017. Under Perez, the DNC has paid off its debt, rebuilt its infrastructure, and boosted employee morale. No one, though, expects that keeping Democrats organized will be easy, especially without a common political enemy in Donald Trump. The next chair will help decide the party’s messaging ahead of the 2022 midterms and play a big role in the fight over which states will hold the first presidential primaries in 2024.