Mayor Byron W. Brown, who is also chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, said Wednesday he is “leaning” toward endorsing former Labor Secretary Tom Perez for national party chairman.
But the mayor added he will head to Atlanta for a meeting of the Democratic National Committee this weekend still officially undecided.
Perez, a Buffalo native, and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota are the leading contenders, he said.
“I am still undecided, though I have spoken with Tom Perez and Congressman Keith Ellison,” he said. “Tom Perez is obviously a Buffalo guy, and I am leaning toward him, but I am getting calls for both from all over the country.
“Those two are clearly the leaders,” he added.
Brown appeared at an event at Engine 36/Ladder 16 on Hertel Avenue Wednesday morning with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, who reiterated his support for Ellison.
“I like Tom Perez. I supported Ellison before Perez got in the race,” he said, adding he is telling anyone who becomes leader of the party to emphasize grass roots organizing.
“What the Republican Party has done is a much better job in grass roots organizing,” he said. “That’s what Ellison has promised me.”
Brown said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has not weighed in on a choice for chairman. The mayor added he may not have officially decide until his arrival in Atlanta.
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, also a former Democratic national chairman, early Wednesday endorsed Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.