Steinhauser: New battle in NH over Democratic superdelegates
CONCORD – The New Hampshire GOP is urging New Hampshire’s Democratic Party to follow in the footsteps of their neighbors from Maine in changing the role of the party’s super delegates in the presidential nomination process.
Saturday backers of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont successfully led the efforts at the Maine Democratic State Convention to allocate their state’s superdelegates based on the results of Maine’s presidential caucuses, starting in the 2020 election cycle.
So called superdelegates are mostly Democratic party officials and lawmakers. Unlike delegates pledged to a particular candidate, they are free to vote for any candidate at the Democratic convention. This cycle the overwhelming majority are backing front runner Hillary Clinton. Sanders is urging superdelegates in states he overwhelming won, such as Maine and New Hampshire, to vote for him.
In New Hampshire, six of the states eight superdelegates are supporting Clinton, with state party Chairman Ray Buckley and Vice Chair Martha Fuller Clark remaining neutral.
The amendment to state party rules in Maine also urges the Democratic National Committee to complete scrap the superdelegate system.
In an email, NHGOP chair Jennifer Horn wrote “in a rare moment of agreement, I applaud the Maine Democrat Party’s effort to ensure that their handpicked superdelegates reflect the will of the voter. Grassroots Democrats in New Hampshire should demand that Maggie Hassan, Anne Kuster, and the other superdelegates supporting the loser of the First in the Nation Primary, Hillary Clinton, should switch their vote to Bernie Sanders.”
New Hampshire’s state Democratic party holds its convention in mid-June.
In response, NHDP communications director Melissa Miller told NH1 News that "Jennifer Horn was ousted as convention delegation chair for her undemocratic attempts to shut out Trump supporters from influential committees in Cleveland. For her to make these comments now is not only hilarious but a transparent attempt to deflect from the chaos within the New Hampshire Party of Trump."
Miller’s referring to last week’s battle between Horn and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign in New Hampshire over assignments to crucial convention committees for delegates.
Meanwhile, NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley described the measure in Maine as “misleading” in an Facebook exchange with Maine state Rep. Diane Russell, who authored the proposal.
“State parties do not have any authority over the Automatic Unpledged Delegates (so called super delegates), only the Democratic National Committee has that responsibility,” Buckley wrote.
Buckley’s a DNC vice chair and member of the national party’s Rules Committee.