Former Dem Party boss Ed Rendell backs Buttigieg in DNC race

Former Dem Party boss Ed Rendell backs Buttigieg in DNC race

Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Ed Rendell has endorsed Pete Buttigieg's bid to lead the Democratic Party, becoming the fourth former DNC chairman to back the Indiana mayor.

Rendell will hit the phones to help woo DNC members onto Buttigieg's side, a campaign aide told The Hill. In a statement, Rendell lauded the mayor as the "fresh face" that the party needs after a "year of historic division within the Democratic Party."

"After a year of historic division within the Democratic Party, I believe we need a fresh face at the helm of the DNC. We need someone who understands the needs and values of middle class Americans and what that means in different parts of the country. Someone who will be an innovative thinker not wedded to solutions proffered only inside the Beltway," Rendell said.

"I believe that person is Mayor Pete Buttigieg."

Rendell, a former Pennsylvania governor, led the party from 1999 to 2001

Buttigieg also has the support of three other former DNC chairmen — Steve Grossman, David Wilhelm and Joe Andrew.

Buttigieg trails the two frontrunners in the DNC race, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (D) and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, in first-ballot support from voting members. Ellison is the preferred choice of the progressive wing of the party, while Perez has won substantial support from more establishment Democrats.

Aides to Perez and Ellison are claiming that both men are closing in on the 224 DNC members needed to win the chairman vote next Saturday in Atlanta.

But if no candidate reaches that majority by Saturday, DNC members will vote on subsequent ballots until a majority coalesces. That could provide the chance for another candidate to emerge.