(Photo by Ramona du Houx of Phill Barlett outside MDP headquarters in Augusta.)
The following is the Maine Democrat Party Chairman's letter of endorsement of of Congressman Keith Ellison to head Democrats.
OPEN LETTER TO THE DEMOCRATIC STATE COMMITTEEDear DSC members:One week from today I will be heading to Atlanta for the Democratic National Committee meeting and elections. I committed to inform you of my vote for chair in advance of the meeting, and I have now made my decision.As many of you know, I have been openly critical of the DNC in recent years. The 50 State Strategy that helped us win the White House in 2008 was abandoned and the DNC seemed to focus almost exclusively on the presidential election at the expense of state parties and down ballot candidates. And the DNC failed in 2016 at its core responsibility of conducting a fair and open primary process free of any appearance of bias.In evaluating the many outstanding candidates for DNC chair, I asked candidates questions about their plans to support our grassroots work, offered feedback and reviewed their detailed proposals.Here in Maine, we are working hard to strengthen our municipal and county committees, to expand our electoral work down ballot to ensure Democrats are elected at every level of government, and to support grassroots activism. We are also working to enhance our communications and develop a four-year strategic plan. I want to make sure the next DNC chair will support our work and offer innovative ways to engage voters, volunteers and supporters.I believe that Congressman Keith Ellison has both the experience and passion to lead the DNC for the next four years. He is committed to a true 50 State Strategy and understands the role state parties can play in building a long-term progressive movement. Over the course of this campaign, he has sharpened his ideas and taken feedback he received to heart. His willingness to step down from Congress to be a full-time chair is a testament to his passion for this work.Thank you for your commitment to the Maine Democratic Party!In solidarity,Phil BartlettChair, Maine Democratic Party