On eve of convention, DNC chair announces resignation

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December 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Getty Images.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — On the heels of a tumultuous Republican convention, Hillary Clinton hopes her gathering in Philadelphia will show off a forward-looking Democratic Party united behind her steady leadership. But to do that, she must overcome lingering bitterness among supporters of defeated rival Bernie Sanders and a political mess and last-minute leadership shake-up of the party’s own making.

The Democratic National Convention was set to kick off Monday as a week of optimistic celebration with high-powered elected officials and celebrities re-introducing Clinton to a general election audience. But the effort was complicated by the publication of 19,000 hacked emails on the website Wikileaks, suggesting the Democratic National Committee had played favorites for Clinton during the primary.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, announced abruptly Sunday afternoon that she would step down at week’s end. Sanders had called earlier Sunday for her departure.

Wasserman Schultz has been a lightning rod throughout the presidential campaign for criticism from the party’s more liberal wing, with Sanders repeatedly accusing the national party of favoring Clinton despite officially being neutral.

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