More than 70 Georgia Democrats took turns over about five hours giving two-minute speeches in hopes of punching their ticket to this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Most would go home disappointed: Only 22 at-large delegates and nine alternates were to be chosen from the bunch. And then there’s the candidate split: of the 31, 22 would be dedicated to presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and 9 to insurgent challenger Bernie Sanders.
Sixty-seven district-level delegates, plus party leaders and elected officials, have already been won their Philadelphia credentials.
The full delegate list is not yet available, although party elders are largely backing Clinton while many of the younger folks in the audience at the IBEW union hall in Atlanta were with Sanders. There was little in the way of one side slamming the other, despite Sanders’ insistence that he is not yet dropping out. (See Jim Galloway’s column about that here.) But, while a few Sanders backers pledged to support Clinton, many said they were still “feeling the Bern.”
Speaking of party elders, few were there today. Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Tucker, Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, the longest-serving lawmaker in Atlanta, Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, Rep. Howard Mosby, D-Atlanta, Rep. Billy Mitchell, D-Lithonia, Sen. Glorida Butler, D-Stone Mountain, and Sen. Donzella James, D-Atlanta, were among the exceptions. There was also no sign of Jim Barksdale, the party’s little-known U.S. Senate nominee, although a few people sported his stickers on their lapels.
Update: We’re told Barksdale was in fact there early and spent an hour or two with party leaders before the meeting convened.
You can see our full report on our premium site and in the print paper Sunday.