Rep. Keith Ellison running for Democratic National Committee chair

Rep. Keith Ellison on Monday announced his candidacy for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, saying the party must "begin the rebuilding process now."

Ellison appeared on two of the Sunday morning talk shows, but stopped short of a formal announcement over the weekend. He did push back at suggestions the job would be too much for someone already serving in Congress.

"I say the most important criteria is vision. Do you have a vision to strengthen the grass-roots and help them turn out people in their local communities," Ellison told NBC's Meet the Press. "It's not about one person, it's not about an individual. It's about millions of people."

Ellison has the support of Bernie Sanders, Harry Reid and Charles Schumer in his run for the post. He also has grassroots support in Minnesota.

"There's desperate need, absolutely desperate need for that type of leadership," said Lindsey Ketchel, an political organizer from Northern Minnesota. "Keith is really going to be the critical bridge I think, that could really hold and bring in this new energy and also keep the old guard there."

Ketchel was one of the progressives appearing at an event in Minneapolis hosted by Our Revolution MN, a group aimed at highlighting progressive candidates and causes. Many members are former Bernie Sanders supporters.

Former chair Howard Dean and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are also expected to run in the January election.