Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says Debbie Wasserman Schultz made the right decision for the Democratic Party’s future by resigning as party chair.
Sanders says Democrats need new leadership “that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people.”
Wasserman Schultz announced abruptly Sunday afternoon that she would step down at week’s end. Sanders had called earlier Sunday for her departure.
Wasserman Schultz will not speak at or preside over the party’s convention this week, a decision reached by party officials Saturday after emails surfaced that raised questions about the committee’s impartiality during the Democratic primary.
The DNC Rules Committee on Saturday rescinded Wasserman Schultz’s position as convention chairwoman, instead naming Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, as permanent chair of the convention, according to a DNC source.
She will gavel each session to order and will gavel each session closed, a role that had been expected to be held by Wasserman Schultz.
Wasserman Schultz has been a target of criticism throughout the presidential campaign between Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Sanders and his supporters in the party’s liberal wing have repeatedly accused the party of favoring Clinton despite officially being neutral.
Sanders says party leaders must remain impartial in future presidential primaries, “something which did not occur in the 2016 race.”
Hillary Clinton thanked her “longtime friend” Debbie Wasserman Schultz after the Florida congresswoman’s decision to step down as chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Clinton says that Wasserman Schultz will serve as honorary chair of her campaign’s 50-state program to help elect Democrats around the country.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee says she looks forward to campaigning with Wasserman Schultz in Florida “and helping her re-election bid.”
The move came after the publication last week of some 19,000 hacked emails, some of which suggested the DNC was favoring Clinton during the primary season.