Rep. John Lewis explains why he’s endorsing Ellison for DNC chair

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia called Rep. Keith Ellison the “right person” to lead the Democratic National Committee in a new video out Tuesday.

In the video, Lewis, a civil rights movement icon, explained why he endorsed Ellison — a Democratic congressman from Minnesota — for DNC chair, saying Ellison “has the ability and the capacity to inspire people to stand out, to speak up, to speak out.”

“We need his leadership. We need his vision. We need his commitment and his dedication now more than ever before,” Lewis says. “Keith wants our party not just to wait until the next election but to organize now for the long haul.”

Lewis had already endorsed Ellison in a letter sent to members of the DNC earlier this month.

Ellison, who’s in a competitive race for the job against former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, has also been endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Perez also received significant backing, including the support of former Vice President Joe Biden and four governors.

DNC members are set to elect a new chairman in Atlanta on Saturday, which is the last possible weekend allowed in the party’s charter.

CNN is hosting a town hall with the DNC candidates on Wednesday, which will be moderated by CNN’s Dana Bash and Chris Cuomo.