The head of South Carolina’s Democratic Party announced Tuesday night that he will be taking a leading role in rebuilding “all State Parties,” as DNC Associate Chair and Counselor for the national party.
The need to focus on state-level organizing was the main message Jaime Harrison pitched during his unsuccessful campaign to lead the DNC.
“We should not be so much of a D.C. party,” he said. “The state parties are the engine we need to get over the hill and we don’t have that,” he said in December.
Harrison lost in his bid to chair the DNC to former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who was elected DNC Chair on February 25, 2017.
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In announcing his next steps in a letter to the South Carolina Democrats, Harrison said his focus will be to take advantage of “a unique opportunity to elect Democrats in every community in America.” He will be taking a leading role in state level training programs, planning for the 2020 convention, debates and nomination process, he said.
An Orangeburg native, born to a teenaged mother who dropped out of school when he was born, Harrison excelled at school and graduated from Yale University. He interned for Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and at age 30 became executive director for the House Democratic Caucus. When Clyburn became House Majority Whip in 2007, he named Harrison his floor director, or top vote-counter.