Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced on Sunday, July 24, that she will step down from her position after this week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
“I have been privileged to serve as the DNC Chair for five and a half years helping to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden, strengthening our State Party Partnership in all 50 states, leading a vigorous primary election this past year while preparing for the general election and representing millions of Democrats across the country,” the 49-year-old politician wrote in a statement on Sunday afternoon. “I couldn’t be more excited that Democrats are nominating our first woman presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, a friend I have always believed in and know will be a great President.”
She continued, “Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention. As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans. We have planned a great and unified Convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.”
Last week, 19,252 DNC emails were leaked online by WikiLeaks, revealing that the committee’s staff members were allegedly trying to block Senator Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
One email exchange reportedly suggested bringing up Sanders’ religious beliefs as a way to damage his campaign in parts of the country. In an interview with ABC’s This Week on Sunday, the Vermont senator called on Wasserman Schultz to resign, saying he was “disappointed” but “not shocked” by what the leaked emails revealed.
The Democratic National Committee’s communications director announced on Sunday afternoon that vice chair Donna Brazile will serve as the interim chair until the election.
Wasserman Schultz concluded her statement: “I’ve been proud to serve as the first woman nominated by a sitting president as Chair of the Democratic National Committee and I am confident that the strong team in place will lead our party effectively through this election to elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president.”
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