Jul 26, 2016 8:57 PM
NH1 News Political Director
PHILADELPHIA – When it came to the New Hampshire roll call at the Democratic National Convention, it appeared to be all about unity trumping divisions.
State party chair Ray Buckley declared “New Hampshire, where we bring Democrats together” as he introduced the roll call vote for the Granite State on Tuesday evening.
Then, as first reported by NH1 News earlier in the day, Buckley introduced the two people who would announce the votes for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the two candidates in contention for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“Reading the numbers is Kurt Ehrenberg for the Bernie campaign and Donna Soucy for the Hillary Clinton campaign,” Buckley said.
Ehrenberg, who almost single handedly set up the Sanders primary campaign in New Hampshire in the spring of 2015 and who also served as the campaign’s Granite State political director, announced that “New Hampshire proudly casts 16 votes for the great senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.”
He was followed at the microphone by Soucy, the state senator from Manchester and longtime Clinton supporter and surrogate.
“New Hampshire proudly casts 16 votes for the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton,” Soucy declared.
Moments after the roll call, NH1 News spoke exclusively with Soucy, Ehrenberg and Buckley.
Asked how the split announcement came about, Soucy said “it came about because in New Hampshire we’re working together and united and we’re going to elect a Democratic president and Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in 2016.”
Ehrenberg praised Sanders, saying “I just want to thank Sen. Sanders for running such a great campaign, involving so many new people in the process. Young people. Disaffected people. Speaking truth to power, and working hard to transform America with our political revolution that’s on-going.”
Asked how Soucy and Ehrenberg were chosen to make the roll call announcements, Buckley told NH1 News that “Kurt set up the Bernie campaign, the first trip and the office. And Donna Soucy was on the floor of the 92 convention saying that Hillary Clinton would be president one day. And they’re both the whips so it’s a perfect choice.”
Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton by 22 percentage points in the February 9th first-in-the-nation primary. He captured 15 of the state’s 24 pledged delegates. But six of the eight super delegates, top Democratic elected officials and party leaders, backed Clinton, with state senator and New Hampshire Democratic Party vice chair Martha Fuller Clark eventually supporting Sanders. Buckley, who’s also a vice-chair of the national Democratic Party, stayed neutral throughout the entire Democratic nomination calendar.
But on Wednesday, Buckley voted for Clinton, giving the state a 16-16 tie.
Asked about his vote, Buckley told NH1 News “ever since 1984 the chair of the party has always supported the nominee of the party and that’s how I decided.”
The votes by the Sanders delegates ended New Hampshire Democratic delegation’s recent history (dating back to 2000) of voting in unison for the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
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