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My Life as a Delegate

March 10, 2008

A while back, a friend of mine called and asked if I wanted to be a delegate. She was thinking of running for the state House of Representatives and wanted to know if I might support her. I said sure – what do I have to do.? My friend (who we’ll call Mrs. “J”) said all I have to do is go to the caucus, get nominated as a delegate, go to the district convention and then vote for a candidate – preferably her. It seemed harmless enough.

Last February, my wife and I go to the caucus. The turn out two years ago was 300 people. This year with all the interest in November’s election they were anticipating 900. 1,300 people showed up. A lot of bodies in a small space. After a few speeches for presidential candidates, state candidates, and anybody else that thought maybe they ought to be a candidate, we split up into our precincts. There we had to pick 7 delegates and 14 alternates for the district convention. There were so many people in our precinct that I had to give a convincing speech on why I should be nominated as a delegate. I stood up and proudly said, “I want to be a delegate because my wife is making me do it – Happy Wife, Happy Life! I will be a great delegate because my wife is always right – ask her.” I pointed to my wife who was now sporting a new look – one I have never seen before. I think I got the pity vote.

Last Saturday, March 8th, was our district convention. For $15 dollars they let me in as a delegate. I got to proudly wear a red badge displaying the fact that I was a delegate and not a blue badged alternate. The convention started at 9:oo AM. I thought great a couple of hours and I can still make it to the gym. Wrong. The agenda said the convention will end at 3:00 PM “certain”. Have you ever been in a room of 200 opinionated people whose wifes said they should be delegates? We got out at 4:00 PM.

The morning consisted of debating resolutions that were created at the caucuses. Remember there are 200 opinionated people in one room. Nothing much else to say.

Mid afternoon consisted of listening to 65 people that wanted to fill 20 delegate positions for the state convention. Their wifes made them do it. I wisely decided that this would be a good time to keep my mouth shut.

Finally we get to vote on the state House of Representative endorsement. Mrs. “J” and two other candidates are running for one position. But first we must hear more speeches. The candidates friends, relatives and neighbors gave passionate speeches. Then the three candidates gave passionates speeches. Now we can vote. One candidate needs 60% of the vote to win the endorsement. Mrs. “J” got 56% of the vote. This means we must vote again, and again, and again. We vote three times and no one wins. It’s now after 3:00 PM. The “certain” time has past. The candidates are given 2 more minutes to give another round of speeches. Mrs. “J” goes last and with 15 seconds left proclaims; “All I need is one more vote to win and we can get out of here!” Mrs. “J” gets two more votes, wins the nomination and we get to go home. Hopefully, when Mrs. “J” makes it to congress she’ll use the same strategy – “All I need is one more vote for this bill to pass and we can go home!” She should have a long life as a politician.

My life as a delegate is over and I’m not sleeping on the couch anymore. Happy wife, happy life – at least for two more years.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. billhastings permalink
    March 13, 2008 4:52 am

    Ah, local politics. Incredibly informal yet just as time consuming.

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