The Webb County Democratic Party held a convention in order to pass new resolutions for their party platform. Held in the De La Garza Building at Laredo Community College, the convention took place a few weeks after the Texas Primary.
On that Saturday morning, men and women of Laredo of all ages convened to discuss the new resolutions. The resolutions were mainly on ensuring that democratic voters unite to support the eventual nominee for the presidential election this November.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won Texas with 71% of the vote while also winning Webb County in particular. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton was in TAMIU to campaign for her before the primaries. However, even with the numbers, there are still dedicated supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders throughout Laredo.
Members of the Party’s establishment are afraid that if Clinton is the nominee, Sanders supporters will not show up to polls to vote for her, or possibly vote for the Republican candidate. This type of trend is common when there are very heated primary battles within a Party’s candidacy. The convention brought Democratic supporters together to discuss how the party could take from each candidate once there is an eventual nominee. Presidential elections have a tendency to influence the visions on each party. The nominee is going to have to listen to these concerns.
The people that were there contributed in discussions about the two candidates and their platforms. Some of the typical norms were presented. Older members who are actual members of the Democratic Party supported Hillary Clinton, and younger members, who were possibly participating in their first presidential election, supported Bernie Sanders. Between the two demographics, there were clashes of idealism and experience.
After a couple of hours of discussion and debate, the two groups did manage to vote and pass 17 resolutions. 16 of those will go the state convention on June 17 in San Antonio. Most of the Democratic establishment were satisfied with the direction of Hillary Clinton. However, the convention worked to compromise with Sanders supporters. There were elements of idealistic representation and realistic strategy when establishing the resolution. Many Democratic voters want a radical push as seen from Bernie Sanders who mirrors many liberal systems seen in Europe. However, the establishment cannot afford to lose to Republicans, particularly Donald Trump, if they cannot find peace with the Sanders supporters. Though this was not a pledge of any kind, the resolutions represent the concerns of Democratic voters as a whole. This leads to the question I asked some of the key members there: How would they view a possible Clinton-Sanders or Sanders-Clinton ballot in November?
Robert Tellez, a graduate student at TAMIU, had some thoughts behind this question. He accepted it more as a Clinton-Sanders ticket. He felt that such a move would definitely unify the party and voters. It would be a similar tactic Ronald Reagan did with George H.W. Bush did in 1980 in which there were similar circumstances during that year’s primaries. However, Tellez did feel that Clinton should accept other Democratic officials like Housing and Urban Development Secretary and former mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro. He also suggested New Jersey Senator Cory Booker for the VP slot. Both of which may not exactly be household names, but both are young, high ranking officials in the government. Tellez also suggested that Sanders would probably have more of an influence as VP where he could influence the Senate similar to current Vice President Joe Biden.
Arturo Martinez was asked the same question as well. Martinez is the husband to Estella Ramos who wrote the amendments for the convention’s resolutions. Martinez is a second generation member of the Democratic Party. Though he agrees that a Clinton-Sanders ticket would unify the vote, he felt that Bernie Sanders was not deserving for the job being that throughout his political career, he’s been registered as an Independent, and has not been much of a team player with the Democrats.
Albert Torres, the Webb County Chairman for the party, responded to the question by stating that such a ticket would be “interesting.” Though it could possibly be intruding towards the party’s establishment, he did believe that could beneficial as it combines the new and old values of the Democratic Party.
The resolution passed are going to continue for discussion in the state convention in San Antonio which will be held on June 17. From there the delegates will represent the platform at the Democratic National Convention where the presidential candidate will be nominated. However, like much of the political arena in Laredo, this event was not by any means a full house. Typical university classes have more people in attendance. However, the convention was insightful and organized, but most of all, official. The political process was in action where different people came together to discuss and debate, and eventually compromise. It was open to all Democratic members and supporters. This types of events and, of course, polling stations are where political action takes place. Hopefully, this could promote more people to come together to do it there instead of polarizing each other on the streets and on the Internet.