Ten Arlingtonians have been elected as delegates and alternates to the Democratic National Convention that will re-nominate Barack Obama this September in Charlotte, NC.
Virginia’s 11 congressional districts held conventions across the state in May, chiefly to elect some of the delegates. The state convention was held at George Mason University in Fairfax County June 2 to name the rest of the delegates.
Of the eight delegates and one alternate elected May 19 at the 8th District Convention, four are from Arlington – Precinct Ops Chair Kip Malinosky, ACDC Deputy Chair Maureen Markham, Obama state petition coordinator Barbara Kanninen and last year’s Joint Campaign Co-Chair Lauren Hall.
It appeared at first that Arlington might sweep the field as many Fairfax County delegates did not show up for the convention. Arlington filled every one of its 78 convention slots and Falls Church filled all five of its slots. But the roll call showed Fairfax County with 69 present and 49 absent. Alexandria filled all but two of its 53 slots. That
gave Arlington considerably more heft in the balloting.
But 10 of the 17 candidates filing to run for the four delegate seats reserved for males were from Arlington. That divided the votes across many more candidates so that, in the end, Malinosky was the sole male winner from Arlington. For the four female delegate positions, 14 people filed, including six from Arlington, setting up somewhat the same situation. Markham and Kanninen won. Hall then picked up the one female alternate slot.
Many delegates observed that the winners were those with the best speeches on their candidacy. It appeared that delegates listened closely to each of the candidate speeches, which was remarkable considering that with so many candidates the speechifying went on for more than two hours. The delegates clearly took their responsibility seriously, which isn’t always true in a convention environment. But despite the presence of more than 200 people in the hall, the room was quiet and the speakers could be heard.
Markham got the unofficial Voice award for most arresting piece of campaign lit. She distributed a color photo from the 2008 campaign showing Jim Webb, Tim Kaine and Barack Obama together on stage at a campaign rally with a black arrow pointing to a dark-haired figure far in the background holding aloft a campaign sign and identifying that pixel or two as Maureen Markham!
The convention also elected an entire slate of state committee officers in just 1.6 seconds, according to The Voice’s race clock, beating the previous record set in 1938 by the Supreme Soviet.
That speedy flow of business was the result of the efforts of 8th District Chairman Margo Horner of Arlington, who held the rostrum and kept the session flowing smoothly, a difficult task for Democratic gatherings that are often compared to herding cats.
The convention, of course, heard from a long line of speakers. By acclamation, the award for best line by any speaker went to Betty Coll of Falls Church. who reported on her city’s chicken-free Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. “We had lots of ham at our J-J,” she said. “And that doesn’t include the speakers.”
Delegates also approved a long platform draft without any changes. Former ACDC Chair Dan Steen was vice chair of the Platform Committee, on which Arlingtonians Bob Platt, Mark Habeeb, Kim Klingler and Janet O’Neill also served.
One task at these conventions that often goes un-noted is the balloting for presidential electors—members of the Electoral College that actually elects the president in December. Under the U.S. Constitution, Virginia voters will not be electing a president in November, but rather choosing 13 electors who will gather the next month in Richmond to
cast their ballots for president and vice president.
Each state is assigned electors equal to its total number of senators and representatives. Virginia Democrats chose one elector in each of their 11 congressional district conventions and two at their state convention. Edna Frady, former chair of the Falls Church Democratic Committee, was elected by acclamation as elector for the 8th District. Edna has now moved into Goodwin House, the retirement home in Bailey’s Crossroads that is rapidly turning into a community for experienced Democrats who can tell party stories back to the Al Smith campaign of 1928.
The Virginia State Democratic Convention was held Saturday, June 2, on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax. It elected 37 more national delegates, two Virginia electors, approved platform resolutions and elected four members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for four year terms.
For DNC, the convention re-elected Frank Leone of Arlington, Mame Riley of Alexandria and Doris-Crouse Mays of Bedford and elected to a first term George E. Wallace of Hampton.
Of the 37 national convention delegates elected, Julie Agarwal, Leni Gonzalez, Peter Owen and Alfonso Lopez were elected from Arlington while Daniel Davis became an alternate.
Frank Leone is a delegate ex officio.