President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. plans to nominate Jaime Harrison as his election to lead the Democratic National Committee. This is part of an effort to strengthen the committee ahead of the anticipated medium-term elections for the party, said two people with knowledge of the selection.
As a former leader of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Mr. Harrison became a national political star last year when he broke fundraising records in his race against re-elected Senator Lindsey Graham. While Mr. Harrison lost 44 percent of the vote to Mr. Grahams 55 percent in November, he developed a broad bank of support across the party.
He is also known to staff and members of the DNC, due to his work as chairman of the South Carolina State Party and the failed bid to become chairman of the committee in 2017. (Tom Perez, outgoing DNC chairman, won the race.) Mr. Harrison was assisted by South Carolina representative Jim Clyburn, an influential Biden ally, who helped the president-elect win the main race in Mr. Clyburn’s home state. Mr Perez decided against a second term.
Incoming presidents traditionally take control of the party committees and appoint their own chairman and staff. Former President Barack Obama decided to establish his own political operation outside of the committee, a decision that many D.N.C. Members say damaged states parties and resulted in years of dysfunction at the national level.
Far more of a party institutionalist, Mr Biden has promised to rebuild the States Parties and to increase investment in the Committee.
The focus on the national party committee is on the Democrats’ attempt to navigate a deeply uncertain political landscape. Even before the attack on the U.S. Capitol disrupted American politics, Democrats awaited difficult intermediate races in the House and Senate in 2022 and the continuing possibility of Mr Biden – who on Wednesday would be the oldest president in U.S. history – might decide not to run for a second semester.