Democratic Party officials are poised to elect a leader to oversee the formidable task of rebuilding a Democratic Party that suffered a humiliating presidential election defeat at the hands of Republican Donald Trump.
Four hundred and forty seven members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will vote in Atlanta Saturday to elect a new party chairman.
The frontrunners are Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and Tom Perez, the labor secretary under former president Barack Obama.
Perez, considered the establishment pick, is the son of Dominican immigrants while Ellison, a progressive, was the first Muslim elected to Congress.
Although the election will impact the future of the party, some political observers see the vote as a proxy fight between defeated presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
The new DNC chairman will oversee a party that was financially drained in the 2016 election but energized by frequent protests in opposition to President Trump.
The chairman must lead an effort to recover from heavy losses in the 2010 and 2014 midterm congressional elections. Elections in 2018 give the party a chance to win races in states where gerrymandering of House of Representatives district boundaries has helped the Republican Party build a decisive majority.
The new chairman must also help develop a roster of potential candidates to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election.