Ex-Labor Secretary Perez voted Dem chairman

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Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who is a candidate to run the Democratic National Committee, before speaking during the general session of the DNC winter meeting in Atlanta, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats have a new national party chairman and it’s Tom Perez, who was labor secretary under President Barack Oback.

Perez won over Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman, in the second round of voting Saturday by Democratic National Committee members at their meeting in Atlanta.

Perez gave a speech before the vote, and he said Democrats face “a crisis of confidence” and a “crisis of relevance.” He pledged to “take the fight” to Trump and “right-wing Republicans.”

The Democrats’ power-deficit is stark.

Republicans occupy the White House, run both chambers of Congress and control about two-thirds of U.S. statehouses.

Perez and Ellison each pledged to rebuild state and local parties, including in Republican-dominated states. Both said the party must capitalize on widespread opposition to Trump but also work to reach frustrated working-class voters who felt abandoned Democrats and embraced Trump.

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