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DNC chair Tom Perez to headline South Carolina Democratic Party's 'Blue Palmetto' fundraising dinner

Likely Labor regs would aid vets, disabled, unions

Tom Perez. File/AP

The leader of the Democratic National Committee will be the keynote speaker at the S.C. Democratic Party's annual fundraising dinner this month.

Tom Perez, former Labor secretary under President Barack Obama, will appear at the inaugural Blue Palmetto Dinner on April 28 in Columbia.

The Blue Palmetto Dinner comes after Democrats earlier dropped its Jefferson-Jackson affiliation because of those former presidents' historical connections to slavery and treatment of Native American tribes in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Other state parties have made similar changes.

Perez's appearance comes after S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison gave Perez an eleventh-hour endorsement earlier this year in the hotly contested race to run the DNC. Harrison dropped his bid and threw his support behind Perez.

"I had the pleasure of getting to know Tom better during the DNC chair campaign, and our party is in great hands with him leading the way," Harrison said in a statement Tuesday announcing Perez's upcoming speech.

Harrison is stepping down as the state party leader that weekend.

Perez's appearance at the dinner also suggests the DNC is serious about investing more time, money and resources into states that have traditionally been GOP strongholds.

"Tom Perez is committed to a 50-state strategy and investing in red states because Democrats can't cede any ground to Donald Trump and his rubber-stamp Republicans," Harrison said.

South Carolina over the next few years will become a go-to destination for Democrats hoping to capitalize on its "First in the South" presidential primary. Last weekend, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who briefly ran for president in 2016, was in Charleston, where he said he would not rule out a 2020 run.

Emma Dumain is The Post and Courier's Washington correspondent. Reach her at 843-834-0419 and follow her @emma_dumain.

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