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What does the head of the DNC do, and who else is running?

Now that South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is running for the chair of the Democratic National Committee, ABC57 wanted to find out what the chair does and who else is in the running.

The DNC chair will be selected at the committee's meeting in Atlanta in late February.

ABC57 spoke with Christina Wolbrecht, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, last month about what the DNC chair does.

The DNC chairman works mainly behind the scenes by shaping party policies, fundraising and helping recruit new members.

"The DNC chair has an opportunity to sort of shape the image of the party for the nation," Wolbrecht said.

Wolbrecht says the job is high-profile and can help boost the career of a politician.

"Even being considered for a position like this just sort of makes more people on the national stage aware of who you are, of the positions that you have, of the experience that you offer, of the voice that you might be able to represent," Wolbrecht said.

Wolbrecht says it can also be very challenging.

"It's coordinating all of these state and local parties as they try to sort of work together to elect people to the house, to elect people to the senate, and to other offices as well. And then to sort of unify the party behind a consistent message," Wolbrecht said.

There are six declared candidates for the position, including Buttigieg.

Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota is considered the front runner. More than 40 democrats have endorsed him including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Three Indiana lawmakers have also endorsed Ellison, including Representative Andre Carson.

If elected, Ellison would be the first Muslim to lead the DNC.

The full list of candidates include:

  • South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota
  • U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.
  • South Carolina Democratic chairman Jaime Harrison
  • New Hampshire state chairman Ray Buckley
  • Sally Boynton Brown, director of the Idaho Democratic party

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