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D.C. Democrats Elect Convention Delegates

James Wright | , WI Staff Writer | 5/9/2012, 11 a.m.

The governing body of the Democratic Party in the District has selected its final slate of delegates who will go to the Democratic National Convention in early fall.

The District's Democrats have been in the process of choosing the majority of the 44 delegates who will represent the city at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. from Sept. 3-7. On Thursday, May, at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Northwest, the final delegates were elected by the D.C. Democratic State Committee.

"Democrats, we must come together to elect our delegates to the convention," said D.C. State Democratic Committee Chair Anita Bonds.

Nearly 60 people from all wards of the city talked and debated about who should go to Charlotte. Some candidates for delegate and alternate walked around with signs promoting their candidacies while others had informal conversations with the rest of the members of the committee.

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (D), who attended the meeting but did not address the group, was elected a delegate by acclamation. D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (D-At-Large), who is the District's male committeeman to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), also attended the meeting but did not give a speech. Orange, 54, is automatically a delegate because of his position with the DNC.

There were 26 candidates for the at-large female position and the top five vote getters won the chance to represent the District in Charlotte.

The winners and their vote count included: Kim Morton who received 45 votes, Lillian Perdomo got 43, Betty Pierce received 37, Denise Reed got 36 and Mary Cuthbert had 33 votes.

Reed, who has been active in District politics for years, appeared happy to have been elected to go to Charlotte.

"I feel privileged to represent the District," Reed, 52, said. "We have the opportunity to re-nominate President Obama and talk to other delegations about the disenfranchisement of District residents."

David Meadows was elected to be the male alternate delegate and David Donaldson edged out Ward 5 activist and former D.C. Federation of Civic Associations President Robert Brannum for the position of male delegate party leader. Christine Warnke was elected as the female delegate party leader by acclamation.

Earlier in the year, District Democrats elected delegates from the two "congressional districts" that the DNC allocates to the city. D.C. Council members Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Romaine Thomas, mother of former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., were among the 14 who were elected on Saturday, March 3 at the University of the District of Columbia in Northwest.

The D.C. Republican Committee used a different process for electing its delegates. In August 2011, the presidential campaigns selected D.C. party members for their primary slate, with the D.C. primary being "winner takes all."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the D.C. primary on Tuesday, April 3 and therefore his slate will represent the District at the Republican National Convention, August 27-30 in Tampa, Fla.

Reed said she will enjoy herself in Charlotte but also will work on behalf of the city.

"I want the other delegates from around the country to understand what District residents deal with," said Reed, a Ward 7 resident. "I 'm ready to educate them."