NARAL chief takes step toward Democratic chair run – Politico

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Ilyse Hogue addresses the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27. | AP Photo

Ilyse Hogue, president of the abortion-rights group NARAL, took a step closer to jumping into the race for Democratic National Committee chair by laying out her vision for the party.

In an email to DNC members on Monday, Hogue writes that she’s been encouraged to join the race and describes how the DNC is crucial to the success of the Democratic Party.

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“I believe the DNC has a critical role to play in regrouping after 2016, one that fully embraces the [Paul] Wellstone triad approach to change: public policy that reflects peoples’ needs, grassroots organizing that honors peoples’ lived experience, and an electoral strategy that brings both to bear to ensure victory,” Hogue writes in the email set to go out Monday morning.

“The DNC can be not just a force every two years at election time, but also a daily presence in peoples’ lives, relevant in policy discussions and responsive to ideas and concerns of people where they live.”

Hogue’s email, obtained first by POLITICO, is the latest sign that the field to succeed interim-DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile, is likely to expand.

If Hogue did jump into the race she would join Rep. Keith Ellison, South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison, and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a former DNC chairman. Others are still considering running, including New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley, who has sent out similar thoughts on the DNC to members.

Hogue, in her email, asserts that “fighting Trump’s agenda has to be top priority for the party” and highlights the common ground shared by the party’s varied constituencies.

“Fighting Wall Street greed and protecting women’s fundamental rights aren’t at odds, they’re intertwined. Recognizing these intersections will be critical to build momentum from the outset for the hard policy fights and for electoral accountability come mid-terms. Diversity is our strength and must be our aspiration and our future,” Hogue writes.

The NARAL president, who was a top Hillary Clinton surrogate, calls for some reforms advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, most notably eliminating superdelegates.

“There’s no doubt the party should have a place of honor for those who give their lives to it and their earned wisdom, but the idea of super delegates who might overturn the will of the voters is antithetical to the democratic principles we stand for,” Hogue continues.

In the Democratic presidential primary and during negotiations over the party’s 2016 policy platform reforming the super delegate system was a top priority for Sanders and his supporters. In the end, the Vermont senator was able to push the party to create a commission to look at changing the super delegate system.

Hogue doesn’t offer a timetable for when she will make a final decision. If she does run for chair, Hogue would be a formidable candidate, one who’s respected among former Clinton supporters and DNC members, has strong fundraising chops and high name recognition within the party.

She would also have a take-no-prisoners approach toward President-elect Donald Trump, whom she denounces in the sharpest of terms.

“Democrats won the popular vote by a wider margin than any campaign in history whose candidate did not become president. Furthermore, Hillary Clinton received more votes for president than anyone who has ever run for the office, other than Barack Obama, and statistically speaking, Donald Trump is the biggest loser ever to walk into the White House,” Hogue writes.

“We have no time to waste. Through their appointments, statements, and associations, the Trump Administration has already proven our worst fears about their racist, corrupt, chaotic, and damaging agenda to be true, even before they arrive at the White House. They will seek to divide people against each other attacking our sisters and brothers across America.’



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