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Wisconsin Democrat Jason Rae vies for DNC post
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Wisconsin Democrat Jason Rae vies for DNC post

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A Democratic National Committeeman from Wisconsin, Jason Rae, has launched a bid for committee secretary, which would make him a leader of the national party after a disastrous 2016 election for Democrats nationally and in the Badger State.

Rae is challenging the incumbent DNC secretary, former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who has said she is seeking re-election. Wyoming Democratic Chairwoman Ana Cuprill also is running.

Rae, a Milwaukee political consultant, said in a statement at his website that he's running to "increase transparency about DNC business."

In an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, Rae said the issue of transparency surfaced during the Democratic presidential primary, which he said left the party divided.

"A lot of people felt it was a tainted process," Rae said.

Rae, 30, also said he sees value in electing DNC leaders from swing states such as Wisconsin, which voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1988 before supporting President-elect Donald Trump this time. Adding younger leaders also will help diversify the party, Rae said.

"I really want to make sure that this next generation is represented in our leadership," Rae said.

DNC members will hold leadership elections the weekend of Feb. 23-26. The highest-profile race will be the one for DNC chairperson, for which the candidates include Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez and others.

In 2004, Rae became the youngest-ever member of the Democratic National Committee when he was elected at 17. Rae has been re-elected to the committee three times since.

Rae ran for Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairman in 2015 but lost to the current party chairwoman, Martha Laning.

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