This post was written by Connor Balough
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has asked its staff to submit resignation letters as the party goes through a shakeup after a rough 2016 election cycle.
Shortly after former Labor Secretary Tom Perez became the party’s chair in late February, the DNC requested resignation letters to be dated April 15, giving Perez the ability — should he choose — to launch a large-scale reorganization.
Obtaining the resignation letters eases the process for deciding who to keep, regardless of how many are eventually let go.
In a statement, Perez spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa characterized the move as a typical part of any leadership transition.
“This is longstanding precedent at the DNC and has happened during multiple Chair transitions,” Hinojosa said. “The process was started before the election of the new Chair. From the beginning, Tom has been adamant that we structure the DNC for future campaigns. Current and future DNC staff will be integral to that effort. Over the last few months, the DNC staff has done incredible work under immense pressure to hold Trump accountable.”
NBC News first reported the decision to ask for the resignations, which it said was announced to staff by an aide to Donna Brazile, the outgoing DNC head who served as the party’s interim chair during last year’s election.
Democrats suffered a damaging loss in 2016, with Donald Trump‘s stunning defeat of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the White House race and the party failing to recapture a majority in the Senate.
The DNC faced heavy criticism over the leadership of former Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), as well as the large role Clinton’s campaign had in running the party last year.
Earlier this month, Perez announced a transition committee that has been tasked with advising him on all aspects of that transition, including staffing.
And next month, the party’s unity commission will also begin work on recommendations for a slew of party issues, including changes to the nominating process as well as broader questions about how to reorganize the party structure to make it more competitive.