In Baltimore, supporters rally behind Takoma Park’s Tom Perez for DNC Chair

Signs showing support for Takoma Park resident Tom Perez as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee line the floor of the convention center in Baltimore at the DNC's final Future Forum. Photo by Helen Lyons.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) hosted the last of its Future Forum events in Baltimore today, drawing a small crowd of party members and supporters of individual candidates to the Baltimore Convention Center.

Among the Democrats running for Party Chair is Tom Perez, a resident of Takoma Park and the former United States secretary of Labor for President Barack Obama.

“He is one of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with,” said Nancy Floreen, president of the Montgomery County Council, in which Perez served with her for four years. “He has an acute sense of how to listen to people, and how to get things done. He’d be a fabulous choice for the DNC.”

Perez is one of eight candidates running for the position of chair, including Rep. Keith Ellison (MN), who is considered to be Perez’s toughest competition.

“I know Tom, I love Tom,” said Tefere Gebre, the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO who has endorsed Ellison. “We’re good friends, but we need an organizer, and Keith is an organizer.”

Support for Perez comes from former Vice President Joe Biden as well as Virginia’s Gov. Terry McAuliffe, but former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has chosen to back Pete Buttigieg, despite the fact that Perez is both a fellow Marylander and a former member of his own cabinet.

Speakers at the forum included Donna Brazile, the interim Chair for the DNC; Elijah Cummings, the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem; and the Mayor of Baltimore, Catherine Pugh.

See photos of the event here.