SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California Democrats narrowly selected longtime party insider Eric Bauman to be the leader of the largest state Democratic Party, angering and frustrating supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders who threw their support behind an insurgent challenger.Delegates to the state party convention selected Bauman for party chair on Saturday. He defeated Kimberly Ellis, who refused to concede citing unspecified concerns with the vote count and, after speaking with a lawyer, declared “this race is not over.”
The hotly contested race reflected the deep divisions within the Democratic Party, which despite a universal commitment to fighting President Donald Trump has not fully healed from last year’s contentious presidential primary between Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
In the three-day California Democratic Party convention, Democrats drawn to Sanders’ condemnation of money in politics pushed the party to reject Wall Street. Bauman, looking to unify the fractured party he now leads, offered words of conciliation to the so-called “Berniecrats” who supported Ellis.
“There is no denying that there is a problem when so many of our hardworking activists feel that they are not welcome within our Party and that they have been slighted and shut out of the process,” Bauman said in a statement.
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