AP

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was elected as the new chair of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday after a lengthy, hard-fought race.

Perez beat his closest rival, Rep. Keith Ellison, by 235-200 votes in the second round of voting. He then appointed Ellison to be his deputy.

The fight between Perez and Ellison was widely portrayed as symbolic of the lingering divisions from the 2016 Democratic primary. Ellison was enthusiastically backed by Bernie Sanders and his supporters. Perez, who was a staunch Hillary Clinton ally in 2016, was prodded to enter the race by, among others, his former boss, President Barack Obama.

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Perez now has the task of helping rebuild a party which has been decimated across the country. Democrats hold a minority of both federal and state offices all over America.