UPDATED: There were 265 uncommitted Democratic superdelegates as of Thursday, and six of those (from Colorado’s 14 total) aren’t revealing their decision until the last primaries are over on June 3 — or even longer if there isn’t a clear decision between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama by the time the Democratic National Convention hits Denver Aug. 25-28.The six undeclared Democratic superdelegates in Colorado are Sen. Ken Salazar, Rep. Mark Udall, Rep. John Salazar, Gov. Bill Ritter, Colorado Democratic Chair Pat Waak and former DNC chair Roy Romer. They have all vowed to withhold their decision until at least the state primaries wrap up.
Pressured by both presidential campaigns to declare her presidential preference, Waak said: “I’ve been called gutless and chastised for not announcing my decision. I’m not complaining per se because I’m glad people feel that intensely about their candidate.”
There are six primaries and 217 delegate seats to go: West Virginia, May 13; Oregon and Kentucky, May 20; Puerto Rico, June 1; and Montana and South Dakota, June 3.
“The host state chair of the Democratic National Convention doesn’t have the flexibility to declare a candidate preference during a primary,” Waak said. “I think it would be disrespectful to declare when the presidential primary process is still going on and the race is close.”
Ritter’s reasoning was similar to Waak’s: “As the host governor, it is important I stay neutral if the convention will have to be brokered. Then I will make my choice known on the convention floor.”
Reps. Salazar and Udall said they would hold out until after the primaries. “If the contest is still under way in June, I think it’s incumbent on superdelegates who are uncommitted to weigh in at that point,” Udall told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
Sen. Salazar agreed, noting that he wanted the primary settled before the convention. Although Clinton needs 329 pledged delegates to win the nomination compared with Obama’s 173, Clinton has vowed to stay in the race until the last primaries.
“At the time of our Feb. 5 caucus, no one thought the primary process would be last this long,” Waak noted, “But I think by now every superdelegate has made a decision about who they will support.”
When asked if that included her, Waak replied, “No comment.”
Top photo: Sen. Clinton speaks at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston; second photo, CDP Chair Pat Waak by Leslie Robinson