Debbie Wasserman Schultz Stepping Down as DNC Chair, Donna Brazile to Serve Through Election
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Photo by Giulio Sciorio
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has decided that her latest gaffe as Democratic National Committee chair will be her last. Today, the Florida congresswoman — whose 23rd Congressional District encompasses Miami Beach and the southern third of Broward County — announced she will resign as DNC chair after the party's convention in Philadelphia later this week.
She announced her resignation after the website WikiLeaks published a trove of leaked DNC emails, in which DNC officials mocked presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and debated using his religious faith to sway voters against him. DNC bylaws mandate that the Committee must remain impartial — favoring no Democratic candidates.
"Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish [our] goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "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
Wasserman Schultz will not resign her congressional seat. However, on August 30, she will face off against insurgent challenger Tim Canova in the toughest Democratic primary of her career. Last week, New Times chronicled the myriad ways in which Sanders supporters, furious at Wasserman Schultz's handling of the DNC and presidential primary, are throwing their support — and money — behind Canova.
Sanders, meanwhile, said in a statement that the congresswoman had "made the right decision for the future of the Democratic party."
He added, "The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race."
In a statement, Hillary Clinton called Wasserman Schultz a "longtime friend" and thanked her for her service.
"I look forward to campaigning with Debbie in Florida and helping her in her reelection bid — because as President, I will need fighters like Debbie in Congress who are ready on day one to work for the American people," Clinton wrote.
President Obama also thanked Wasserman Schultz for "having his back" for the past eight years.
According to CNN, Sanders fans chanted "Debbie is done!" and "Debbie resigned!" at a rally in Philadelphia today.
Deputy DNC Chair Donna Brazile, who has a long history with the party and Hillary Clinton, will serve as interim chair through the election, the committee also announced.
Hillary Clinton statement on Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepping down as chair pic.twitter.com/qnSD2UffI2— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) July 24, 2016
Canova, meanwhile, wasn't exactly conciliatory: