Elections

Bellingham delegate one of Sanders backers who walked out after Clinton nomination

Richard May of Bellingham, a Bernie Sanders delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, speaks with the media Tuesday, July 26, 2016, after he and other Sanders delegates walked out of the convention.
Richard May of Bellingham, a Bernie Sanders delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, speaks with the media Tuesday, July 26, 2016, after he and other Sanders delegates walked out of the convention. For The Bellingham Herald

Sen. Bernie Sanders started what many are calling “a political revolution.” Now, it seems, even he can’t get it back under control.

“It’s not just about Bernie at this point, because now he’s transitioned to being ‘that guy who ran for president once,’ ” said Richard May, 49, one of five Sanders delegates from Whatcom County.

“And the movement is going to do its own thing.”

After former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday night, July 26, many of the delegates pledged to Sen. Bernie Sanders had a message to send.

It wasn’t strictly paranoia. There were some shenanigans going on. … The reality is that this may be the last straw for a lot of voters.

Richard May, Sanders delegate from Bellingham

“We walked out,” said Millie Kennedy, 50, a Sanders delegate from Des Moines, Iowa. “We want democracy back in the United States.”

May joined about 100 Sanders supporters in protesting Clinton’s nomination and left the Wells Fargo Center immediately after the roll call votes were tallied.

May said the fears of corruption within the Democratic party now seem real to some of the approximate 1,800 Sanders delegates, and those delegates “are tired of taking one for the team.”

“It wasn’t strictly paranoia,” May said. “There were some shenanigans going on. … The reality is that this may be the last straw for a lot of voters.”

Sanders delegate Dallas Roberts, 23, of Bellingham decided not to walk out.

“I don’t think Senator Sanders would have walked out like they chose to do,” Roberts said. “I had respect for the speakers that were still coming to be heard.”

Roberts said Clinton’s nomination was an “emotional roller coaster.”

“There’s joy in the fact that we were able to finally cast our votes for Sanders as a delegate and finish out the duty we were sent here to do,” he said. “There’s disappointment that Bernie wasn’t selected, and there’s excitement that there will be the first woman on a presidential ticket.”

“Hillary Clinton will be our nominee,” Roberts added. “And I want to unify this party. That’s the point.”

Michaela Winberg is a journalist and a student at Temple University in Philadelphia. This month, she will be reporting on the Democratic National Convention from Philadelphia as part of a groundbreaking project allowing students to cover the event for local newspapers, TV stations and digital outlets. Follow her on Twitter: @mwinberg_.

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