Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez, who said just two months ago that the national party shouldn’t be “anointing candidates” in primary races, was widely rebuked by progressives for his decision this week to endorse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose reelection bid is being challenged by longtime activist and actress Cynthia Nixon.
“Regardless of who you support in this race, can we all agree that the DNC shouldn’t pick winners in a contentious primary in a safely Dem state?” tweeted Ezra Levin, co-founder and co-executive director of Indivisible. “Don’t be scared of democracy — let the voters decide.”
Speaking at the New York state Democratic Convention on Thursday, Perez had said: “I’ve not only admired Andrew Cuomo, I have admired the Cuomo family since my youth. I’ve admired what they stood for and what they fought for since I was a kid.”
“We often have debates about what wing of the Democratic Party we belong to,” Perez continued. Calling Cuomo and his running mate, lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul, “charter members of the accomplishment wing of the Democratic Party,” he had declared, “that’s why I’m proud to endorse them.”
Journalist Michael Sainato posed that Perez and the national party “are scared of progressives” like Nixon because “they know if Cuomo and Hochul go down it’ll be a game changer and the rest of the establishment will start facing even greater threats.”
Perez’s move on Thursday strongly contrasts with his refusal to weigh in on the Georgia gubernatorial Democratic primary earlier this week, in which the progressive candidate prevailed. Perez told NBC News that the DNC had been “scrupulously neutral” in Georgia “because we think the voters should decide that.”
DNC Deputy Chairman Keith Ellison, who is known for taking stances left of Perez, had made…