Stepping up to the clamoring from progressive Bernie Sanders, Democrat Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and more, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison has officially launched his run for the Democratic National Committee chair.

Though it was rumored that Ellison planned to add his name to the growing list of interested Democrats to head the DNC, he did not make his intentions official until Monday morning.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Ellison said:

“I am proud to announce my candidacy for Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and if given the opportunity to serve, I will work tirelessly to make the Democratic Party an organization that brings us together and advances an agenda that improves people’s lives.”

One of two Muslim members of Congress, Ellison has been a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders from the very beginning, and even introduced the Senator at the DNC this summer.

Sanders endorsed Ellison for his re-election campaign in November, and helped fundraise for the progressive Democrat.

Ellison is facing some stiff competition from more establishment types Howard Dean and Martin O’Malley – both failed presidential candidates. This appointment of a DNC chair is the first major test of the Democratic party to see whether or not Democratic leadership has learned its lesson from last Tuesday.

Are we headed to a more progressive future, or will we stay entrenched in the same politics that lost us the election – and so much more?

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com