DNC chair talks up Haaland, encourages local Dems - Albuquerque Journal

DNC chair talks up Haaland, encourages local Dems

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Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez pauses after a session during the DNC’s summer meeting in August in Chicago. (Annie Rice/AP)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, delivered pep talks to campaign workers, volunteers and local candidates on Tuesday during a swing through Rio Rancho and Albuquerque.

He highlighted the potential for Democrat Deb Haaland to be the first Native American woman to win election to the U.S. House — a distinction she might share, he noted, if fellow Democrat Sharice Davids wins her race in Kansas.

Perez spoke for 20 minutes Tuesday to about 75 to 100 Democrats gathered inside the party’s office on Juan Tabo, near Constitution NE, in Albuquerque. He urged them to keep working hard for three more weeks, through the Nov. 6 election.

“It’s our democracy as we know it that’s on the ballot,” Perez said.

Perez served as labor secretary under then-President Barack Obama, and he headed the civil rights division of the Department of Justice.

During Tuesday’s visit, he mentioned some of his DOJ work touching on New Mexico — including the 2010 prosecution of the first defendants to be charged under a new federal hate-crimes law. Three men pleaded guilty in the case, which centered on the branding of a swastika on the arm of a disabled Navajo man.

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