Interesting political buzz surrounds Assemblyman Michael Blake’s highly publicized run for Democratic National Committee (DNC) Vice Chair. Queens Rep. Grace Meng — NY’s first Asian American Member of Congress — is a current vice chair who was elected last year succeeding Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI). After repeated inquiry, Meng finally issued a letter declaring that she was seeking re-election to the DNC post.
In her pitch letter, Rep. Meng wrote “the party must engage on a listening tour that spans every region of the country – urban, rural, and suburban. We cannot afford to continue to ignore the rich tapestry of voices within our party, and every American must feel like their voice has been heard. “
Bronx Democratic sources say that party leader, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo did not endorse his colleague and fellow Bronxite Blake and, instead, he has thrown his support behind Meng (a former Assembly colleague). Insiders acknowledge that there is no love lost between Blake and the regular Democratic Party machine led by Crespo. Several sources confirm that party insiders doubt that DNC voters would elect two New York City Democrats as Vice-Chairs at a time when the party is being criticized as being dominated by East and West coast Democrats.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday Assemblyman Blake tweeted that Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon has endorsed him in his campaign for DNC Vice Chair. Dillon’s support follows the endorsement of current Vice-Chair, R.T. Rybak, the former Minneapolis mayor. A prominent Manhattan Democrat, who hasn’t endorsed Blake, nonetheless, thinks he’s a credible and hardworking Democrat.
There are 447 voting members of the DNC, including 75 at-large members. Donna Brazile is the Interim Chair. Rep. Keith Ellison (MN) and outgoing Labor Secretary Tom Perez are running for Party Chair.
There are four Vice-Chairs (and, at least, one vacancy). Maria Elena Durazo and Ray Buckley are the two other current Vice Chairs. Vice-chairs serve on the 64 member executive committee which oversees the affairs of the party between meetings of the full and meets four times a year.
The election of DNC Vice-Chairs will take place in February.