May 23, 2016 11:04 PM
NH1 News Political Director
CONCORD – Sen. Bernie Sanders may be at war with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, but in the Granite State there appears to be a more cordial relationship between Sander’s top supporters and the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
And state party Chairman Ray Buckley’s confident that the chaotic scene at the recent Nevada Democratic Party State Convention won’t be repeated next month when the NHDP holds its annual gathering.
Kurt Ehrenberg, who started up Sander’s campaign in New Hampshire a little over a year ago and served as the Vermont senator’s political director in the Granite State, told NH1 News on Monday that
“I think we’ve been treated fairly by the party for the most part ever since Sen. Sanders first decided to run and was coming into the state. So we have no real complaints how we’ve been treated by Chairman Buckley and the party.”
Ehrenberg, who’s a pledged to Sanders as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in July in Philadelphia, met over the weekend with other Sanders delegates and top supporters in the state, to plot strategy going into the NHDP’s June 18th convention.
“We expect that the convention will be open to any Democrat who wants to attend whether they’re a delegate or whether they just want to observe. So we’re getting ready to make sure that our folks are well organized and not unruly in any way. And to put to rest any rumors to that affect,” Ehrenberg told NH1 News, as he referenced videos of the Nevada convention that went viral and sparked more conversation about the Democratic Party’s struggle to unify supporters of Sanders with those backing all-but-certain Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Ehrenberg added that they “just to make sure that if folks want to bring forward resolutions that reflect Bernie’s platform that won over 60% of the vote here last February, that we can do that. And that we’re prepared to do that following the rules of the convention, working with the party that things run smoothly. Everyone gets their say, everyone feels like they’re treated fairly. And we move on towards Philadelphia and the big convention in the summer.”
Unlike the Nevada convention, that dealt with the selection of delegates to the national convention, Buckley told NH1 News that “these conventions that we have here in New Hampshire are post primary and post delegate selection. So we have never had anyone who’s come and spoken on behalf of the candidates. We don’t have any presidential campaign activities at all. In fact this convention’s going to be focused on (Democratic Gov.) Maggie Hassan’s run for the U.S. Senate.”
Ehrenberg: Trump will unite Democrats
Besides chairing the state party in New Hampshire, Buckley’s a DNC vice chair and is president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs. On Friday and Saturday, during a ASDC pow-wow in Philadelphia, he presented new guidelines to try and prevent another chaotic state convention outbreak.
“We think it’s very important that all of the delegates in every state are respected and that they also act in a respectful manner. We believe that it’s very important that everyone is knowledgeable about what the rules are, what the agenda is, and how we can move forward together. Both the Sanders campaign and the Clinton campaign, along with the DNC, will now be involved in each one of these conventions that have delegate selection processes. In fact I’m going out to Wyoming this weekend to be part of their convention because there’s rumors that there might be issues out there,” Buckley told NH1 News
Asked if he’s confident Clinton and Sanders supporters will eventually come together, Buckley said “the state chairs and vice chairs met with the top leaders of both Bernie’s campaign and Hillary’s campaign on Saturday. It was a very, very, productive discussion that went on for several hours and we left feeling very positive and upbeat that we’re going to leave Philadelphia in July very united.”
Ehrenberg was also confident that Democrats will unite, if for no other reason than to prevent presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump from reaching the White House.
“There’s going to be one thing that unites all of us in the end, no matter who the nominee is, and that’s Donald Trump,” he said.
“It’s kind of a no brainer for most of us, we can’t have Donald Trump be president of the United States. It’s just not acceptable. So at the end of the day we’re all going to be together and make sure that Donald Trump isn’t elected president,” Ehrenberg added.
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