Update on Washington State Democratic presidential candidate selection process

Update on Washington State Democratic presidential candidate selection process

by David Turnoy

Chair, SJC Democrats

For those of you who have participated in Democratic Party presidential caucuses in the past, the process has been changed by the Washington State Democratic Party. The process used to start with precinct caucuses on each island, followed by a County Convention, followed by a Legislative District Caucus. However, the first step, precinct caucuses, were quite chaotic when hundreds of people showed up, lots of folks who wanted to participate were not able to attend, and some of these caucuses (especially on the mainland in highly populated areas) lasted far into the night. Those of us involved in the Democratic Party made it a priority to reform this process, starting with allocating delegates based on the statewide primary which will be held in March.

Once the primary has been held and delegates have been awarded based on the votes in the primary, the first step of the delegate selection process will be the Legislative District (LD) Caucus to be held on Sunday, April 26, 2020; there will be no island caucuses. Next, there are two alternatives for County Conventions. County Conventions may be held on Sunday, May 3, 2020. Alternatively, whenever a county is entirely within a single legislative district (like ours), the County Convention may be held on the same date, in the same location as the Legislative District Caucus, as long as ample time is scheduled for each meeting. The CD (Congressional District) Caucus will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2020, and delegates elected at the LD Caucuses will be the voting members. They will then head to the Democratic State Convention in June.

To sum up, there will no longer be precinct caucuses. Instead, you will vote in a presidential primary in March, which will be done by mail-in ballots only. The primary will determine how many delegates each candidate will receive. Our County Convention, which will be held as part of the LD Caucus, will be an opportunity to submit resolutions. If you want to run to be a delegate, you will have to attend the LD Caucus, which will almost certainly be on the mainland. Delegates selected at the LD Caucus must then attend the CD Caucus, and delegates selected there will go on to the Democratic State Convention.

If you would like to be on the San Juan County Democrats’ email list and receive this kind of information more quickly, as well as information about events, campaigns, and meetings, email David Turnoy at davidgeri@centurylink.net.