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*-- New DNC chief begins party rebuild by asking for staff-wide resignations --*

The new head of the Democratic National Committee began the long-promised overhaul of the organization on Tuesday, asking for the resignations of all staff members in the first step to rebuild the party after November's demoralizing defeats.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez called for the letters Tuesday, although his interim predecessor had previously asked staff to submit and date them April 15 in anticipation of the leadership turnover.

The move is part of the committee's restructuring process that was expected after multiple election night defeats, most notably that of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton -- and has been considered imminent since Perez was selected as party chairman in February.

A committee advising Perez on future movements is now interviewing potential staffers, NBC News reported.

"This is longstanding precedent at the DNC and has happened during multiple chair transitions," DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said Tuesday. "The process was started before the election of the new chair. From the beginning, Tom has been adamant that we structure the DNC for future campaigns. Current and future DNC staff will be integral to that effort."

The organization has been running on a reduced staff since layoffs were first initiated in December.


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