Chicago’s Black politicians in race for delegates at convention

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Roderick Sawyer, Michelle Harris, and Pat Dowell

Ballot reveals who Aldermen are supporting for U.S. President

Crusader Staff Report

Many of Chicago’s Black aldermen are running to become delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.

Illinois had 183 delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where Hillary Clinton was officially nominated as the Democratic candidate for U.S. President. That was the role of the political delegates representing every U.S. State.

Delegates are elected by voters during the March 17 primary. Any one voter may run to become a political delegate. Delegates are on the ballot by their Congressional District. To get on the ballot, candidates must secure 500 signatures that had to be filed by the deadline on January 3.

Sometimes called pledged delegates, the delegates are expected to support a presidential candidate that’s indicated on their filing papers.

The Crusader pulled official lists of delegate candidates from the Cook County Clerk’s website. For the 1st Congressional District, Alderman Jeanette Taylor (20th), Attorney Preston Brown and Activist Linda Hudson are all delegates supporting candidate Bernie Sanders.

LINDA HUDSON

In the same district, Aldermen Michelle Harris (8th), Roderick Sawyer (6th) and former Chicago Urban League President Andrea Zopp are also running as delegates who support Joe Biden.

There are 34 candidates vying to become a delegate in the first Congressional District. Voters however must choose only eight.

In the Second Congressional District, activist Cleopatra Watson is one of the few Blacks out of 35 candidates seeking to become a delegate. She is supporting Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren for president.

Another candidate, Lamar C. Brown, political director for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, is supporting Biden. Sheila Chalmers-Curren, president of the Village of Matteson, is also on the ballot as a delegate candidate. She is also supporting Joe Biden.

Voters can choose only seven of the 35 candidates in the second Congressional District.

Alderman Chris Taliaferro from the 5th Congressional District supports Biden.

Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson supports Senator Elizabeth Warren as a delegate candidate in the 7th Congressional District. In the same district, the delegate candidates include Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, former Governor Pat Quinn, Aldermen Emma Mitts (37th) and Pat Dowell (3rd) and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Representative Barbara McGowan. All are supporting Biden.

In 2016, 27.5 percent of Illinois’ 183 delegates were Black and 18.75 percent were Latino, according to the Illinois Democratic Party Delegate Section Plan.

Those statistics fell short of the 51 percent goal for Black delegates and 35 percent for Latino delegates.

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