Ben Margiott

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Arizona Democratic delegation to national convention shaping up

With the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia exactly three months away, Arizona’s Democratic delegation is finally starting to take shape.

The Democrats chose 50 of their allotted 85 delegates to July’s convention at district-level caucuses on April 16.

Steven Slugocki, the Maricopa County Democratic party chair, was chosen to be a delegate for Hillary Clinton.

“We had to promote ourselves, say why we were the best representatives, we had to give a speech, then through rounds of voting, that’s how we were elected,” said Slugocki, a first-time delegate.

Twenty-eight of the state’s congressional district delegates are bound to vote for Hillary Clinton and 22 for Bernie Sanders, based on the results of the March 22 presidential preference election.

Of the remaining 35 delegates, 16 are at-large delegates and nine are party leaders and elected officials (PLEO), all of which will be chosen on May 14 at the state committee meeting.

The final 10 are super-delegates, made up of Arizona’s four Democratic representatives and six Democratic National Committee members. The super-delegates aren’t pledged to a candidate and could potentially still be swayed to a different candidate.

Karyn Lathan, a Bernie Sanders delegate from congressional district 9, believes some super-delegates might still be up for grabs.

“I think there are some people who are Hillary and who have come out publicly (for) Hillary but as the time has gone and the wave has gone more and more towards Bernie, I think some of those people will go with with what the public wants,” Lathan said.

Of course, that’s all a moot point if Clinton locks up the amount of pledged delegates before the convention.

Megan McPherson, a delegate for the second time, predicts the party will rally around Clinton before the convention.

“Those who are most dedicated to the Democratic party understand that and will have a unification and full support behind Hillary Clinton should she be the nominee,” McPherson said.

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