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Abortion-rights group president hints at possible run to lead DNC

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (Getty Images/Bill Clark)

The president of the pro-choice advocacy group NARAL, Ilyse Hogue, hinted at a potential bid to head the Democratic Party in an email to Democratic National Committee members Monday.

"I believe the DNC has a critical role to play in regrouping after 2016, one that fully embraces the [Paul] Wellstone triad approach to change: public policy that reflects peoples’ needs, grassroots organizing that honors peoples’ lived experience, and an electoral strategy that brings both to bear to ensure victory," Hogue said in an email, according to Politico.

Hogue continued, "The DNC can be not just a force every two years at election time, but also a daily presence in peoples' lives, relevant in policy discussions and responsive to ideas and concerns of people where they live."

Should Hogue officially decide to throw her hat in the ring for the position, she would already have solidified her opposition to Republican President-elect Donald Trump. She said Monday that "fighting Trump's agenda" would be a "top priority" for the DNC.

In her email, she wrote:

Democrats won the popular vote by a wider margin than any campaign in history whose candidate did not become president. Furthermore, Hillary Clinton received more votes for president than anyone who has ever run for the office, other than Barack Obama, and statistically speaking, Donald Trump is the biggest loser ever to walk into the White House.

We have no time to waste. Through their appointments, statements, and associations, the Trump Administration has already proven our worst fears about their racist, corrupt, chaotic, and damaging agenda to be true, even before they arrive at the White House. They will seek to divide people against each other attacking our sisters and brothers across America.

And as Politico reported, Hogue is already well-respected among supporters of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton while she also supports some reforms to the party demanded by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' camp.

Also vying to take over the position is former Vermont Gov. and onetime DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaimie Harrison.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a 2016 presidential contender, withdrew his candidacy for party chief earlier this month.

Hogue is the first woman seriously floated for the open position. The last two DNC chiefs have been women, both rocked with scandals: Interim Chairman Donna Brazile was revealed to have leaked debate questions to Clinton. And Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down as the party's head in July after leaked emails purported to show her favoring Clinton over Sanders.

"In the last week, many people within the Democratic Party at both the national and state level have approached Ilyse about running for chair of the party," NARAL communications director Kaylie Hanson Long said last week. "She is listening and considering all her options."

Anti-abortion group Live Action denounced the possibility as Hogue leading the Democratic Party when rumors abounded that she would vie for the position last week.

Live Action News said:

The Democratic Party is understandably struggling to figure out the best way to reach the American public after resounding losses. But putting a pro-abortion extremist like Ilyse Hogue in charge would be a monumental mistake that would only further alienate the majority of Americans who do not support things like taxpayer-funded, on-demand abortion, at any time, for any reason.

The simple fact is, even among Americans who consider themselves 'pro-choice,' Americans want heavy restrictions on abortion. Choosing someone to lead the Democratic Party who would ignore the majority of Americans in order to appease the abortion industry, along with the small but vocal minority of pro-abortion extremists, will not lead Democrats to victory.

Prior to assuming her role as president of NARAL in 2013, Hogue also worked for MoveOn.org and Friends of Democracy.

When Hogue, a mother of two, addressed the Democratic National Committee in Philadelphia in July, she told the story of her own abortion.

One last thing…
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