Democratic Party selects pledged delegates for Riverside County

By Xiomara Galeano

By Xiomara Galeano

On April 13, about two hundred of Barack Obama’s supporters were waiting for the doors of the Zacatecas Cafe to open.

While waiting under the hot sun, candidates’ supporters spoke out in attempts to persuade voters into selecting their candidate of choice.

Supporters also handed out stickers and fliers to others as they waited.

The first step to become a candidate for pledged delegate is to fill out an application on the California Democratic Party Website. The filing period was from Jan. 15 to April 2 at 8 p.m.

In order to be a pledged delegate, a candidate has to be a registered Democrat and pledge support for only one presidential candidate. To vote at the Democrat caucus, the person has to be a Democrat.

Some voters changed their party from Republican and Independent to Democratic, just so they can vote.

Out of the 22 candidates running to be a pledged delegate, eight women and 14 men, only two were chosen, one woman and one man to represent the 44th Congressional District at the Democratic Party State Convention.

One of the candidates, Woodrow Curry III, a senior at the University of California Riverside was very enthusiastic about the race.

One of his main reasons for running was to set an example and show young people could and should be engaged in the political process.

After being asked for one of the most important reasons for being a candidate to become a pledged delegate, he said, “This is one of the closest races in history and I want to be part of it.”

Another candidate, Melissa Bourbonnais, a political science professor at Riverside City College and Cal State Fullerton, was very excited and nervous at the same time for running.

When asked why she was running, she said, “This is history in the making. We are experiencing it.”

Some of the people attending knew who their vote belonged to but others still weren’t sure so they stayed to listen to the candidates give their speech.

In a timed minute, the candidates gave their speech with reasons why the people should vote for them.

Although Alfredo Figueroa, the organizer of the Obama caucus of the District, had been supplied with specific instructions about what time to open and close the door, who to appoint to volunteer, and how to sign people in, he said that he wasn’t completely familiar with the process and that he was still learning.

At the end, Jose Medina, a RCC Board of Trustees Member, and Linnie Frank Bailey, a writer and public speaker, who campaigned together, got the most votes and became the pledged delegates to represent the District.