The chairman of South Carolina’s Democratic Party rolled back his national aspirations on Thursday.
State Democratic Party Chairman Jamie Harrison dropped out of the race to become the Democratic National Committee chairman and instead endorsed former Labor Secretary Tom Perez for the post.
“I know what a path to victory looks like,” Harrison explained in a release describing his decision to quit the race. “Despite strong performances at the debate and DNC regional forums, the votes are simply not there for me to secure victory on Saturday. But this election is not about the individuals in the race; it is about unifying and rebuilding our Democratic Party.”
The decision to drop out of the race came two days before the DNC votes on its next chairman on Saturday in Atlanta.
Harrison was an outside contender for the DNC chair behind presumed frontrunners U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison D-MN. and Perez.
The two frontrunners find support from split factions in the Democratic Party. Perez, the former Labor Secretary to President Obama is favored by “establishment” Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden and former Attorney General Eric Holder. Ellison leads the way for the progressive wing of Democrats and received endorsements from of Sen. Bernie Sanders I-VT, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren D-MA.
Eight candidates appeared at the DNC debate on Wednesday. The relatively high number of candidates makes it more likely no single candidate will earn the majority vote needed to win the leadership position. Harrison aimed to change that outcome by narrowing down the candidate list and swaying votes by throwing political weight towards Perez.
“Regardless of who the next DNC Chair is, we must come together as Democrats to build and expand our Party so that we can win elections and enact these progressive policies everywhere. Because people everywhere are hurting, and Donald Trump and the rubber-stamp Republicans have no solutions. So it’s up to all of us. Time to get to work.”