Tugging at the super delegates’ capes – Towns, Clarke sticking with their pledges

By Stephen Witt

Two Brooklyn “super delegates” to the Democratic National Convention are sticking to their support of Sen. Hillary Clinton for president despite their district voting in favor of Sen. Barack Obama. Reps. Edolphus Towns and Yvette Clarke both said they will continue to support Clinton for president. Super delegate is an informal term for some of the delegates to the DNC that are seeded automatically based on their status as current or former elected office holders and/or party officials. In Brooklyn, this includes the current congressional delegation including Clarke, Towns and Reps. Anthony Weiner, Nydia Velazquez, and Jerrold Nadler. All have previously pledged support for Clinton, but the 10th (Towns) and 11th (Clarke) congressional districts gave a majority vote to Obama. According to Board of Election unofficial results, Obama beat Clinton in the 10th District, 48,849 to 35,699. In the 11th Congressional District, Obama bested Clinton by a 50,570 to 40,043 margin. “I’m a Hillary delegate and I think we’ll go all the way,” said Towns, adding that the vote in his district was relatively close with support for both candidates, and his son was chosen as a Clinton delegate from his district. Towns did allow that the Obama camp ran a very effective campaign in his district with many young Obama supporters knocking on doors. Towns also disagreed with the argument that a super delegate congressional member should follow the will of the majority of people in their elected district. Towns said that if the nomination is still deadlocked with no clear presidential candidate, the Democratic Party has several options including going into arbitration with a trusted party member or having the two candidates negotiate a ticket among themselves. Towns also did not discount a dark horse candidate such as Al Gore emerging at the convention this summer in Denver, but feels it is unlikely. “A lot of things can be done. My biggest concern is a split convention,” said Towns. “In 1972, we left Miami divided when McGovern was the candidate. There was a lot of pushing and shoving on the [convention] floor and McGovern only won one state, so we know what fighting at the convention can lead to,” he added. Clarke said she too continues to support Clinton, but feels the important thing is that the party is united following the convention.

More from Around New York