More than 30 Amesbury Democrats met at City Hall last weekend to caucus and elect delegates for the upcoming convention. The caucus was open to all registered Democrats residing in Amesbury.
“Caucuses that elect delegates to a nominating convention are always exciting,” said Rebecca Jordon, chair of the Amesbury Democratic Committee. “They mark the beginning of the process, and are often well attended by local Democrats, candidates and campaign surrogates.”
Elected delegates attend the convention where they vote to support one of the five declared candidates for governor. A candidate must receive the support of 15% of the delegates to be placed on the primary ballot in September.
“I love caucuses because they are the great equalizer,” Jordan said. “It can be a thrilling event to those who are new to the process.”
The state party allots Amesbury four male delegates, four female delegates, one alternate of each gender, and a third gender neutral delegate. Party rules allow any registered resident to run for a delegate position at the caucus, and be elected by those present. Elected delegates can pledge their support for a particular candidate at the caucus, or attend the convention undeclared.
Male delegates elected to go to the June convention in Worcester include Scott Jordan, former mayor Thatcher Kezer, city councilman Jonathan Sherwood, and newcomer Ed Justen. Kezer and Justen both pledged their support to candidate Juliette Kayyem. Citing their wish to see an “expanded primary ballot,” Sherwood and Jordan chose to remain uncommitted for now.
On the female side, Kristen ten Bensel, Jane Siebecker, and Lisa Rodgers were elected by proxy. One delegate position went unfilled as no other females present were able to attend the convention.
“While it was disappointing that we were unable to fill the female delegate allocation, it informs the committee that we should develop some strategies to encourage more women to participate,” Jordan said.
Rodgers, who moved to Amesbury four years ago, chose to attend the caucus in support of another delegate candidate, and was recruited at the last second to run for her own delegate position. She accepted the nomination and was named a delegate.
Rodgers and Siebecker remain uncommitted for now, while ten Bensel has also pledged her support for Juliette Kayyem.
Elected alternate delegates include long-time Amesbury resident Tom MacLaughlin, and Fernando Alvarez Gonzalez, who pledged his support to candidate Don Berwick.
Jordan also pointed out that residents can attend the convention as an “add-on” delegate. To qualify, residents can be minority, disabled, or be classified a youth (under 35 years of age). “I urge Amesbury Democrats interested in going to the 2014 Democratic Convention as an add-on delegate to download an application as soon as possible,” she said.
To download an add-on application, click here.
To find out more about the Worcester nominating convention in June, click here.