The Bernie Caucus was held in Newburyport yesterday April 9th with over 20 candidates vying for 5 positions(2 women delegates, 2 male delegates, and 1 male alternate delegate). There were 2 slates from Essex County running, and I was a single delegate seeker from Middlesex County.
Sixteen men were seeking the 3 male slots. After the 2 male full delegates were chosen, after 3 ballots(Tristan Whitehouse, and James Thompson), this left 14 left to compete for the one alternate delegate. Only 4 decided to continue. On the third ballot I prevailed with the help of the 8 people from the Reading Town Committee, and 107 other caucus attendees I had only recently met, or did not know at all.
The women delegates who won, also on the 3rd ballot, were Nancy Weinberg and Audry Proctor, also from Essex County.
To say the least, I am thrilled, after campaigning by grass roots on my own. I also appreciated the moral support I received from BMG’ers, and my own Town Committee Members who could not attend.
There was some controversy that fortunately was settled through the voting process, and the stellar job Marianne Rutter, Chair of the Boxford Democratic Town Committee, who calmly explained and reexplained the Democratic State Committee Rules, and made things run smoothly. The doors opened at 11:30am at the Newburyport City Hall, and drew to a conclusion shortly before 6pm.
The controversies were mainly on two issues.
Apparently since Hillary’s Caucus in the 6th was uncontested, and settled, there was some urging for Hillary’s supporters to travel to Newburyport, and vote for someone there. At first, early in my rounds to Town Committees, I thought this was OK, actually from statements, from the uncontested delegates themselves, but then I found out that caucus voters take a pledge that they support Bernie Sanders. I quickly abandoned that road. None of my support came from such caucus goers, and I am grateful for that. Quite frankly I think the pangs of conscious of breaking the rules took care of that issue. Still some attendees thought this hanky panky persisted, and interrupted some speakers with their displeasure.
The second controversy was from a small group who did not succeed with their rhetoric of do or die for Bernie. I did not vote for anyone from this group. They show up here or there, and are not in sync with Bernie’s strong assertion that he will support and work for the Democratic nominee.
So it was a day of real American politics, mostly good and a little bad. However I feel the winning delegates will perform their responsibilities as they should. I know I will.
Thanks again who all had a part in giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity.