A Nebraskan who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination says the party has much work to do to heal wounds newly opened by recent revelations.
Nebraska Democratic Party chair-elect Jane Kleeb says emotions remain raw after leaked party emails displayed favoritism toward former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton in the campaign for the nomination.
“I think that there’s a lot of really strong feelings. People just gave the past year of their lives dedicated to not only a candidate, but from their perspective and my perspective a revolution of changing the Democratic Party from the inside,” Kleeb tells Nebraska Radio Network from the floor of the national convention in Philadelphia. “So, I still think that there are some really hurt feelings.”
Kleeb says Sanders should become the new chair of the party.
“I honestly think that they should tap Sen. Sanders to be chair of the Democratic Party now that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has stepped down,” Kleeb says. “I think that would show real unity. It would show a tremendous amount of grass roots power to bring that style of organizing and small donors into the party.”
Nebraska Democrats gave Sanders a big win in the party caucuses, though Clinton won the primary held about a month later. The caucus determined the allocation of state delegates.
Kleeb says the Nebraska delegation remains respectful of the system and supportive of Clinton. However, she says party leadership will have to work hard to heal wounds newly opened by release of the emails.
Kleeb says the leaked emails give Sanders supporters leverage during the convention in Philadelphia.
“Not only do the emails give us leverage, but still not the full unity of the party gives us leverage,” according to Kleeb. “So, I feel like both sides will come together eventually.”
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida resigned as chair of the Democratic National Committee Sunday after leaked party emails showed favoritism toward Clinton.
Learfield’s Ashley Byrd contributed to this story.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]