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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 February, 2005, 17:38 GMT
Dean elected as Democrat leader
Howard Dean
Howard Dean is a proven fundraiser for the Democratic Party
The US Democratic Party has chosen the former presidential candidate Howard Dean to be its new party chairman.

The 447-member Democratic National Committee elected Mr Dean to replace outgoing party chief Terry McAuliffe.

Mr Dean has promised to rebuild the state parties, take on the Republican Party and make a better job of explaining party policy.

He had been favourite to be the party's presidential nominee in last year's election, but lost out to John Kerry.

Some believe Mr Dean's proven fundraising ability will be an asset to the party.

Others fear that the perception that he is so liberal as to be outside the mainstream could make it harder for the party to take back congressional seats from the Republicans.

The Democratic Party clearly has to consolidate its left, but it also has to appeal to the centre
John Zogby, pollster

The BBC's James Coomarasamy in Washington reports that in his acceptance speech, Mr Dean emphasised the need for the Democrats to build a strong base.

He said if Democrats wanted to win nationally, they had to win locally.

And in an echo of his internet-based presidential run, he promised to use technology aggressively to reach out to voters.

Joyce Cusack, a Florida delegate, said: "We are trying so hard to be like Republicans and we're not.

"I think Howard Dean says clearly that we are different. We are the party of ordinary citizens and not the elite; we are everyday working folk."

Why Democrats chose Mr Dean as their new leader

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25 Mar 04 |  Americas
Dean quits US presidential race
18 Feb 04 |  Americas
'Dean scream' becomes online hit
23 Jan 04 |  Americas
Profile: Howard Dean
18 Feb 04 |  Americas

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