The Democratic National Committee elected Tom Perez, a former secretary of labor under President Barack Obama, to serve as its new chair after a tumultuent day of voting that capped a four-month race to replace interim chair Donna Brazile. "When we have these conversations, sometimes spirited, sometimes difficult, that's not a sign of weakness, that's a sign of strength as a party and that's what were going to keep doing,” Perez said upon his election, before moving to name rival Rep. Keith Ellison, who fell 18 votes short of the 218 needed to secure the chairmanship. "If we waste even a moment going at it over who supported who, we are not going to be standing up for those people," Ellison said. "We don’t have the luxury, folks, to walk out of this room divided." Perez now replaces Brazile, who had taken up the interim chairmanship after leaked emails forced the ousture of former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.