California Democrats pick LA labor leader as new chair
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Democrats have chosen a Los Angeles labor leader over a Bay Area progressive firebrand to lead them into the next election.
Rusty Hicks was elected chairman of the state party Saturday night by thousands of activists at the party’s annual convention. He beat Kimberly Ellis, who was seeking the role for the second time.
The election was held because former chairman Eric Bauman resigned in November amid sexual harassment allegations.
Hicks pointed to his role as chairman of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to argue he was well positioned to do the nuts-and-bolts organizing that is the key task of a state party. Ellis had attracted some of the party’s most progressive activists, including many who backed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 contest.