Nebraska Democratic Party leaders helped spearhead a successful vote by the Democratic National Committee on Saturday to curtail the power of Superdelegates in picking the party’s presidential nominee.
Attendees of the DNC summer meeting in Chicago voted to end Superdelegates ability to cast decisive votes on the first ballot of presidential nominating conventions, a practice which has caused division within the party.
The Nebraska DNC members who voted for reform were: NDP Chair Jane Kleeb, First Associate Chair Frank LaMere, Committeewoman Patty Zieg and Committeeman Ron Kaminski.
“The Democratic Party is resilient. When we see something broken, we fix it — this includes rules of our party that impact elections,” said Kleeb, who helped lead the reform effort.
Superdelegates are unpledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention who are seated automatically and could vote for the presidential nominee of their choice. They differ from “pledged” delegates, who agree to vote for a nominee based on the party primaries and caucuses in each state.
Superdelegates make up less than 15% of all convention delegates and include elected officials and party leaders.
The issue came to a head in 2016, when The Associated Press declared Hillary Clinton the party’s presumptive nominee over Sen. Bernie Sanders before the nominating convention based on a poll of Superdelegates.
DNC Chair Tom Perez has said that curtailing the use of Superdelegates is part of a broader effort to rebuild trust and heal the wounds of 2016 primary. “No candidate should have an accumulated lead, whether real or perceived, before the first ballot is cast,” he said.
Kleeb was part of the DNC’s 21-member Unity Reform Commission that championed the change. The commission includes nine members selected by Clinton, seven members picked by Sanders, three picked by Perez, and the chair and vice chair — selected by Clinton and Sanders, respectively.
“Grassroots voters made it clear we needed to end Superdelegates and improve the presidential primary process,” Kleeb said. “We made these changes this weekend. The Democratic Party’s candidates this year look like our communities for the first time. We are confident these changes will help us end the one-party rule in Nebraska.”
LaMere said: “The status quo that troubled our party since 2016 is a thing of the past and I can say without hyperbole that it is a ‘new day’ in the Democratic Party. Across America and across Nebraska.”
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