Caucusing in Washington, Part 2

Today was the second stage of the delegate process here in Washington state. TB and I attended the 48th Legislative District caucus as Obama delegate (he) and alternate (she) representing Precinct 2920. Compared to the precinct level caucusing we participated in back in February, the legislative district caucus was much more organized, procedural and drawn out. We arrived at Interlake High School in Bellevue at 9:50 AM and convened with the rest of Congressional District 1 in the smaller of the two gymnasiums. (Congressional District 8 was in the larger gymnasium since it covers the much bigger city of Bellevue.) We left early at 1:30 PM after I handed in my ballot.

Barack Obama '08 - Yes We Can The bad news is my time as an Obama delegate is over. I did not participate in the nomination process to move on as a delegate for the Congressional District caucuses. I wasn’t prepared with my bio and photo and felt others who have been more actively involved in the Obama election for a much longer time deserved one of the 8 male slots of the total 16 available for Obama. The Washington Democratic party requires equal numbers of men & women in the state delegation so the 11 delegates and 5 alternates available to Obama, half had to be female and the other half male. Since there were odd numbers of delegates and alternates, the tie-breaker was decided by a coin toss. Females came out ahead resulting in 6 female delegates, 5 male delegates, 2 female alternates and 3 male alternates. Eight and eight.

Surprisingly, not all Precinct delegates showed up today and 30 alternates had to be seated. In the end, a total of 13 Precincts across our Congressional District did not send any delegates or alternates for either candidate. That’s amazing considering how closely contested the Democratic Presidential nomination race has been. Clinton received 4 delegates + 2 alternates compared to Obama’s 11 delegates + 5 alternates; a much bigger victory for Obama than the 2 to 2 from our Precinct.

The good news is TB and I collected some memorabilia—posters and stickers—that we will likely frame and display to commemorate our part in what has been an historic election process. While we are no longer delegates, we aren’t finished campaigning and contributing on behalf of Obama. I just need to figure out how to get my picture taken with Michelle and Barack.

Barack for President: Caucusing in Washington

I am a precinct delegate for Barack Obama! I was one of two Obama delegates assigned/elected during our caucus this afternoon. TB was elected as an alternate. Clinton received the remaining two delegates from our four-delegate precinct. I’ll get to that after the break.

Barack Obama - Change We Can Believe In

TB and I caucused with fellow precinct members today here in Washington. Democratic delegates in our state are decided by caucus, not the presidential primary (which happens February 19th). Accordingly, in order to make our delegate preferences known, we had to participate in the first of 3 levels of statewide caucuses: the Precinct Caucus.

We reside in Kirkland and our neighborhood falls within a precinct assigned to Rose Hill Elementary School. That was great for us since we live just a few blocks away. We arrived about 15 minutes before the official 1:30 PM kick-off. Washington is a blue state and this election has some high-profile democratic nominees with very motivated supporters. The entire parking lot and surrounding area was packed with cars. Midway down a side street a block down from the school, we located a spot suitable for the trusty 626. TB and I walked back to the school and became part of the vast human machine known as the democratic process. What ensued over the next two hours was an experiment in semi-controlled pandemonium and it felt great.

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