Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Resign as Democratic Party Chair After Convention

Chair of the Democratic National Committee and U.S. Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL
Chair of the Democratic National Committee and U.S. Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL

Debbie Wasserman Schultz will step down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the conclusion of this week’s convention, the Florida congresswoman said Sunday in a statement.

The announcement follows the growing controversy over the release of party emails that at times depicted staffers favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the primary campaign.

Wasserman Schultz’s decision comes as the party had increasingly limited the ceremonial role she was scheduled to carry out at the Philadelphia convention, including that she would no longer gavel in the opening of the convention Monday. Her counterpart, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, spoke at last week’s GOP convention and played a prominent role in the party gathering.

Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, will preside over the four-day convention.

Wasserman Schultz’s departure follows an uproar over the nearly 20,000 emails released by Wikileaks that revealed efforts were discussed by party staffers to seemingly undermine the candidacy of Sanders, the Vermont senator who was runner-up to Clinton in the Democratic presidential campaign.

The leaked emails included one where Wasserman Schultz referred to a top Sanders campaign aide as a “damn liar” and another where a party official suggested the Vermont senator’s religious beliefs should be questioned.

Sanders has previously asked for the resignation of Wasserman Schultz from the Democratic National Committee and reiterated that call Sunday.

“I think she should resign, period,” the Vermont senator told ABC’s This Week.

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Source: USA Today | Heidi M. Przybyla