Washington, Nov 12: The Democratic National Committee (DNC) will elect next the party's new chair on November 17, with strong backing for the candidacy of black Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison.
Senator Bernie Sanders offered his support for Ellison on Friday, a Minnesota legislator and member of the state's Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, Efe news agency reported.
He is also the first member of Congress to practice Islam.
In a surprising manoeuvre, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer also pitched his support to Ellison, whose victory could revitalise the more progressive wing of the Democrats, following Hillary Clinton's defeat in the presidential election against Republican Donald Trump that left her party in turmoil.
The interim presidency of the DNC, has been occupied by Donna Brazile following the resignation of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz over influencing the primaries to aid Hillary Clinton.
Ellison will contest the party chairmanship against 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean and possibly against former hopeful for the presidential nomination this year, Martin O'Malley, who says he is considering an attempt to become DNC chair.
Sanders, who lost the party's primary for the presidential nomination against Clinton despite inspiring millions, is coming back to promote a more progressive leadership of the Democratic Party.