Local Democrats are praising the election of favorite son Tom Perez as the new chairman of the national party.
Perez, who grew up in Snyder, was Labor Secretary under President Obama. Now he's tasked with uniting a party that has little power to do much at all in Washington. The Democrats do not control any branch of the federal government.
Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner says Perez was the right choice for the job.
"We're obviously biased because he's from our hometown," Zellner said. "We're lucky to have someone we know well as head of the Democratic party. He represents our values here in Western New York."
Zellner said Perez has a lifetime of experience fighting hard for Democrats and progressive cause.
Perez continues a tradition of Buffalonians holding influential roles at the party's state and national levels. His election as party chair this weekend was not the first time someone from Buffalo ran for the top job. Former Erie County Democratic Chair Joseph Crangle came close to becoming national party leader decades ago.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, who heads up the State Democratic Party, voted for Perez as national chair.