Jaime Harrison lobbying for top job at DNC


Former Senate candidate Jaime Harrison said Tuesday that if presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden wants him to lead the Democratic National Committee, then he is ready to do the job.

“If the president-elect calls my number, then I am getting into the game,” Mr. Harrison said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It is something I am interested in.”

“I understand the DNC, I understand the state parties, and now I understand what it means to be a candidate for office,” he said. “So if my number gets called, I will definitely step onto the field.”

DNC Chair Tom Perez is expected to step down from the post next year. Mr. Perez defeated Mr. Harrison and others to win the job in 2017.

Whoever leads the party will be looking to pick up the pieces from the 2020 election, where the party struggled in down-ballot races — even as Mr. Biden declared victory over President Trump.

They also will be charged with keeping the wings of the party unified amid finger-pointing over what went wrong.

Mr. Harrison is a former top aide to Rep. Jim Clyburn, a top Biden ally.

The 44-year-old was blown out in his underdog bid against Sen. Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina Senate race despite raising far more money than the Republican incumbent.

Mr. Harrison is now launching a group called the Dirt Road PAC that he says will aim to follow in the footsteps of efforts to expand the party’s footprint in South Carolina in much the same way that Stacey Abrams has bolstered Democrats in Georgia.

“We can’t just parachute in, cycle by cycle, and expect we are going to change states that are going to be red for generations,” Mr. Harrison said. “We have to invest in communities — particularly communities that we have been left behind for a long time: rural communities, African American and Latino communities that just feel disenchanted, that feels nobody hears them, and nobody is fighting for them.”

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” he said. “South Carolina won’t flip overnight, but if we sustain the investment in these communities, we will see the change that is so necessary and so needed.”

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