Gregg County Democratic Delegates Gather - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Gregg County Democratic Delegates Gather

Which Democratic presidential candidate will win more Texas delegates?  That was the question surrounding hundreds of conventions around the state today, including large rowdy crowds right here in East Texas.  

Around 300 delegates from 22 Gregg County precincts gathered at Lobo Coliseum, Saturday.  The delegates are split almost right down the middle.  Many say they are concerned about the confusing process of the general vote and delegate vote.  Obama and Clinton supporters also say they are committed to unity, regardless of who wins.  Still, others feel with such a tight race, unity may be difficult.

"Will there be unity, I'm not so sure," said Precinct 4 Delegate Jennifer Hale.  "A lot of people have said if Hillary does not get the nomination, they'll go Republican. 

"Change needs to be done, and I believe Barack Obama is the best for that change," said Precinct 14 Delegate Ricky Lawson. 

"Actually, I believe that a bit of a spirited primary gets people tougher and people get to know each other better, so you get unity after the process," said alternate delegate Vick Verma.  "It's a necessary part of elections."  Twenty-seven delegates and 27 alternates were selected Saturday.  They will attend the State democratic Convention in Austin in June.  

In Smith County, a good mix of delegates came out early to support their candidate of choice. There were more than 500 delegates and nearly 400 alternates, all braving the wet and foggy weather Saturday morning.  Though it did get a little rowdy, both Clinton and Obama supporters seemed to respect each other as members of the democratic party.  

"So far, it's democrats behaving well," said Smith County Democratic Party Chairman David Henderson.  "There has been very little animosity, some impatience, if you have to stand in line two hours it's not the most exciting thing to do, but everybody is thrilled we have this many Democrats turn out for a convention in Smith County." "

"Basically, whether you're for Clinton, or Obama, you're still, if you're a democrat, you're a democrat," said Smith County Delegate Edward Thompson.  "Whomever merges on top, we're going to get behind that person whether it's Obama, or Clinton.  I think they'd both make a great president." 

The results from Smith County's three senate districts are in.  In District One: Obama got nearly 60% of the vote and Clinton 30%.  In District Two: more than 93% voted for Obama and clinton took about 55%.  In District Three: 75% voted Obama, and Clinton with just 22%.   Now, 46 Smith County delegates were chosen to go to Austin.  They will be among more than 7,200 around the state.  Eventually, that number will be narrowed down to just 67 caucus delegates who will attend the National Democratic Convention in August.


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