Campaigning Key for National Delegate Hopefuls

    PhotobucketIf you are one  of over 1,000 state Democratic delegates vying for the 55 slots to the Democratic National Convention in Denver Aug. 25-28, here are three words of advice from the Colorado Democratic Party: campaign, campaign, campaign.PhotobucketApproximately 120,000 Democrats participated in precinct caucuses Feb. 5, and interest in the presidential race has yet to die down. In February and March thousands of delegates went to their Democratic county conventions to select delegates to the congressional and state conventions. The state party estimates there are over 1,000 letters of intent from congressional and state convention delegates who want to run for national convention delegate seats from Colorado.

    “We’ve never encountered this kind of participation before,” noted CDP chair Pat Waak. “The delegate selection process at the congressional district and statewide level is going to be challenging.”

    Congressional and state conventions will be held at the Colorado Springs World Arena on May 16-17, when the final selection of delegates to the national convention will be made.

    “If a person wants to become a delegate to the national convention, he or she will have to get out and campaign,” Waak suggested. “That may include calling the other delegates to the congressional convention, sending out postcards and having a handout ready at the convention itself.”

    With so many new people involved with the process, campaigning could be an expensive proposition.

    “I’ve been checking the costs for printing and mailing postcards to the delegates going to the Third Congressional District Convention,” said Nick Isenberg, a Sen. Barack Obama national delegate hopeful from Glenwood Springs. “Estimates break down to at least one dollar per person to reach out to the other 768 CD-3 Obama delegates. I could easily spend $1,000 for my efforts.”

    Isenberg said he was not sure what he could put on a postcard that would be meaningful for his campaign for a national delegate slot, adding, “I’m still figuring out what to do and what to say.”

    Mary Beth Corsentino, Democratic chairperson of CD-3 district, said the seven Democratic congressional district chairs are meeting with state party officials April 5 to talk about the logistics of the final national delegate selection process. She said she didn’t know how many people were vying for the five delegate and one alternate slot in CD-3, but she acknowledged competition will be stiff.

    “Being a national delegate is quite an honor and one I feel needs to be earned,” Corsentino said. “I personally think they should have paid their dues along the way.”

    Photo of the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston by Leslie Robinson. Second graphic: chart shows Democratic national delegate selection process in Colorado.