POLITICS

Sec. Julian Castro being considered as DNC chair successor, sources say

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julian Castro on July 13, 2016 on Capitol Hill.

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julian Castro on July 13, 2016 on Capitol Hill.  (2016 Getty Images)

Several names are being mentioned as a possible successor to Debbie Wasserman Schultz as head of the Democratic National Committee, including that of Housing Secretary Julian Castro, CNN is reporting.

Castro, who was recently passed over as Hillary Clinton’s possible running mate, has not commented on the issue.

The announcement of Wasserman Schultz’s resignation Sunday came amid heavy pressure from top Democrats following the release of thousands of leaked emails showing DNC staffers favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

This move made for a rocky start on Sunday, as the Florida congresswoman heeded Sanders’ longstanding call to leave as party chief.

"The party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people," Sanders said.

Wasserman Schultz's abrupt departure was undoubtedly an effort to keep the Democrats' gathering from devolving into the tumult that marred last week's Republican National Convention, when runner-up Ted Cruz pointedly and publicly refused to endorse nominee Donald Trump. As he demanded Wasserman Schultz's resignation, Sanders made clear he wants to see Clinton win the White House.

"I'm going to do everything I can to defeat him, to elect Hillary Clinton and to keep focusing, keep focusing on the real issues facing the American people," Sanders said on CNN.

Wasserman Schultz’s resignation will become effective once the Democratic Convention is over later this week. After the convention, DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile will serve as interim chair through the election.

On Sunday, Clinton and President Barack Obama both quickly praised the outgoing Wasserman Schultz, hoping to move past the ugliness and onto plans for an optimistic celebration featuring high-powered elected officials and celebrities who will try to re-introduce Clinton to a general election audience.

Trump appeared to relish the Democratic chaos on Sunday, writing on Twitter: "The Dems Convention is cracking up." His campaign chief, Paul Manafort, went further and called on Clinton to drop out of the race altogether.

Sanders will address the convention Monday night, and Obama will speak on Wednesday night. Other high-profile speakers include first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden.

They will try to overcome party disunity that seems certain to also be a factor in Philadelphia, given Wasserman Schultz's departure and the general unhappiness among many Sanders supporters intensified by both the emails and by Clinton's decision to pick Kaine of Virginia as her running mate.

"If they think they can win without half the party, let them lose," said Andrew Fader, 27, of New York, who was wearing a "Bernie" T-shirt on Sunday near the Liberty Bell. "And I'll move to Canada."

Norman Solomon, a delegate who supports Sanders, said Wasserman Schultz's removal was unlikely to soothe those who back the Vermont senator. He said there is talk among Sanders' delegates of walking out during Kaine's acceptance speech or turning their backs as a show of protest. Sanders' supporters believe Kaine is not liberal enough.

Sanders endorsed Clinton two weeks ago after pressing for the party platform to include a $15-an-hour minimum wage, debt-free college and an expansion of access to health care.

Party wrangles aside, Clinton is within just days of her long-held ambition to become the party's official presidential nominee.

After the DNC released a slightly trimmed list of superdelegates — those are the party officials who can back any candidate — it now takes 2,382 delegates to formally clinch the nomination. Clinton has 2,814 when including superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count. Sanders has 1,893.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram

AROUND THE WEB