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Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign as DNC chairwoman

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz will step down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee after the party’s convention.

“My first priority has always been serving the people of the 23rd district of Florida and I look forward to continuing to do that as their member of Congress for years to come,” Wasserman Schultz said Sunday in a statement. “As the mother of my three amazing children and the Representative of Florida’s 23rd congressional district, I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future. I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory.”

“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention. As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans. We have planned a great and unified Convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.”

Earlier Sunday, it was reported that Wasserman Schultz no longer had a speaking role and would not preside over the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

DNC vice chair Donna Brazile will serve as Interim Chair through the election, according to DNC communications director Luis Miranda.

The Florida congresswoman has been the subject of intense criticism from Bernie Sanders supporters and other Democrats for her apparent favoritism toward Hillary Clinton during the party’s presidential primaries.

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WikiLeaks recently released almost 20,000 emails from Democratic National Committee staff members, some of which show officials intent on undermining Sanders’ presidential campaign. Some of those emails “show DNC officials scoffing at Sanders and his supporters and in one instance, questioning his commitment to his Jewish religion,” the Associated Press reported.

Wasserman Schultz has criticized Sanders and his campaign for a chaotic outburst by the Vermont senator’s supporters at the Nevada State Democratic Convention, comparing their actions to a Donald Trump campaign event.

Sanders has condemned the outburst and death threats sent by his supporters to the Nevada party chairwoman, but the independent has refused to apologize.

Wasserman Schultz said that refusal, along with Sanders’ subsequent complaints about how his supporters were treated in Nevada, only “added more fuel to the fire.”

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Wasserman Schultz was named in 2011 by President Barack Obama to succeed Tim Kaine as the 52nd DNC chair.

Her full statement is below:

“I have been privileged to serve as the DNC Chair for five and a half years helping to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden, strengthening our State Party Partnership in all 50 states, leading a vigorous primary election this past year while preparing for the general election and representing millions of Democrats across the country. I couldn’t be more excited that Democrats are nominating our first woman presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, a friend I have always believed in and know will be a great President.

“We arrived here in Philadelphia with the most inclusive and progressive platform the party has ever proposed and a unified recommendation from the Rules Committee on our path forward as Democrats. I am proud of my role in leading these efforts.

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“My first priority has always been serving the people of the 23rd district of Florida and I look forward to continuing to do that as their member of Congress for years to come. As the mother of my three amazing children and the Representative of Florida’s 23rd congressional district, I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future. I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory.

“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention. As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans. We have planned a great and unified Convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.

“I’ve been proud to serve as the first woman nominated by a sitting president as Chair of the Democratic National Committee and I am confident that the strong team in place will lead our party effectively through this election to elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president.”

With reporting by Eric W. Dolan

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