The 2016 Democratic Nomination battle is still going on …..
Forces loyal to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) see the race to replace outgoing chairman John Burton as a chance to take over the best-funded, best-organized state party in the nation ahead of the 2020 presidential contest.
Our Revolution, the outgrowth of Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign, and the California Nurses Association, the most prominent outside group that spent on Sanders’s behalf last year, both back Kimberly Ellis, a professional organizer from the Bay Area who has spent the last two years running for chair.
Most of California’s political elite, including 30 labor unions and the vast majority of the state Senate, supports Eric Bauman, the current vice chairman of the state party and head of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
Neither candidate loves the idea that the race is a proxy fight between the Sanders and Hillary Clinton wings of the Democratic Party.
Both candidates backed Clinton in the 2016 primary, and both have supporters in each camp. Both supported Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Sanders’s choice to lead the Democratic National Committee, in February. (Ellison lost to former Labor Secretary Tom Perez.)
But it is a frame others have embraced as the Democratic Party strives to find a path back to power.
“What is happening at the national level has spilled over here,” said state Sen. Mike McGuire (D), a Bauman backer. “You have very similar sides lining up as you did in the Democratic primary.”
The internecine fight has delegates and elected officials walking on eggshells, fearful of alienating either the established wing of the party with a proven history of raising money and mobilizing supporters, or the progressive wing that has harnessed the enthusiasm Sanders brought to the campaign trail. …