By Antonio Unpingco
The next step in electing a democratic presidential candidate was the county convention and legislative district caucuses, held at Whatcom on May 1. This year’s County Convention had a record turnout.
For the 42nd Legislative District, which includes north Bellingham and the rest of Whatcom County, there were nine delegates and alternates for the Clinton campaign and 36 for the Sanders campaign.
The Whatcom county democratic caucus resulted in 166 votes for Hillary Clinton and 695 votes for Bernie Sanders with two uncommitted votes. Statewide, there were 7136 votes for Hillary Clinton and 19135 for Bernie Sanders with 43 uncommitted.
A platform debate was held at in Heiner Theater at Whatcom where the Committee of the Whole, which consists of delegates and alternates, reviews the platform as proposed by The Whatcom Democrats Platform Committee. The goal is to present the county convention with agreement on as many platform planks as possible and to consider planks not agreed upon by the Committee of the Whole. A vote of 60 percent is needed to refer proposed plank changes to the convention. To discuss a plank, there must be a 30 percent vote to do so, and if there is not 30 percent in favor of discussion, the plank is sent to the County Convention with a recommendation for adoption. Voting is done by raising the credentials issued by the Credentials Committee at registration for the convention, all delegates and alternates are voting members of the Committee of the Whole.
Then, delegates and alternates elected at the legislative district caucuses attend a congressional district caucus on May 21 where 67 delegates are chosen to the Democratic National Convention, held in Philadelphia on July 25-28, as well as the state convention which is held June 17-19 in Tacoma. At the state convention, presidential electors will be named and a state party platform will be adopted. In addition, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee who represent Washington’s legislative districts, select 12 Pledged Party Leaders and Elected Official delegates (PLEOs), 22 delegates, and 8 alternates to the National Convention where democratic candidates for president and vice president are nominated and the platform is finalized.
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