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Democratic Party leaders in Berkeley County gearing up for convention

Event is open to all registered Democrats who also are county residents

March 27, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Democratic Party leaders in Berkeley County will elect 46 delegates to represent the county at the party’s state convention in June, said Niles Bernick, chairman of the county’s Democratic Executive Committee.

The county’s convention, which is open to all registered Democrats who also are county residents, is slated to begin April 14 at 10 a.m. at the Berkeley County Courthouse at 100 W. King St.

“We encourage all registered Democrats who are residents of Berkeley County, to get involved in the Democratic process and attend this important event,” Bernick said in a news release. “This convention is important because those elected as county delegates will go to Charleston in June and vote for the people who will represent our state at the Democratic National Convention in September.”

The state convention will be held June 8 and 9 at the Charleston Civic Center, where about 1,500 delegates from across the state will meet. 

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At the county’s convention, an equal number of male and female delegates will be chosen as well as an official convention chair and secretary, Bernick said.

Derek Scarbro, executive director of the West Virginia Democratic Party, said county conventions are scheduled for April 14 in all 55 counties. Jefferson County will elect 34 county delegates, and Morgan County will elect 10 for the state convention, Scarbro said.

The number of delegates apportioned to each county this year was determined by the percentage of voters who turned out to vote for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin last year in the special gubernatorial election, Scarbro said.

While county and state conventions have been regularly held in the past, state delegates to the Democratic Party’s national convention prior to the 2008 election were decided in the state’s primary election, Scarbro said.

Candidates to serve as a delegate to the Republican National Convention will be on the party’s primary ballot in May.

In West Virginia’s primary election, the vote for president on the primary ballot determines how many delegates each presidential candidate receives from the state at the national convention.

President Obama has an opponent in the West Virginia primary, but Scarbro doesn’t expect Keith Judd of Texarkana, Texas, to receive enough votes in the May 8 election to net any of delegates.

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