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Cougar Claw Exclusive: Texas delegates talk party unity

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July 25, 2016

The 2016 Democratic Convention has officialy begun. The convention center is now flooded with thousands of journalists, delegates, representatives, and even celebrities. Every morning, the day starts off with a delegation breakfast. Each state across the nation sends their delegates to various hotels throughout Philadelphia, and today I had the opportuity to attend the delegation breakfast for the state of Texas.

Today, there were 251 Texas delegates, 19 alternates, and 27 Democratic Party committee members packed into a single ballroom. Delegation members were decked out in sequin cowboy hats, often paired with shirts that read “I’m with Her.”

Though, despite the plethora of Clinton patrons, there were many disgruntled Sanders supporters who were upset by the Wikileaks email release, which seemed to show an organized effort against the Vermont Senator by the Democratic National Convention. Many look forward to hearing the Sanders speak later tonight.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Judy Lerma, member of the Texas Delegation. “I’m very disappointed in the Democratic Party.”

Even though some delegates were taken aback by news of the “rigged” primary, they appreciated the DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s resignation.

“I appreciate Debbie [Wasserman Shultz] stepping down and putting others there to show … that she’s totally concerned about the Democratic Party, which I see as being very unified,” Texas Delegation member Shirly McKellar said.

Unification was also a key topic discussed at breakfast this morning. Many members of the Texas Delegation hope the Democratic Party can come together in order to solidify a Presidential victory.

“We’re going to leave this convention on a very high note, unified. We came into this convention with a few bumps, but by the time we leave this weekend, we’re going to be all energized and excited about victory in November,” Texas Delegate Carl Davis, said.

Others in the Democratic Party look ahead to the positivity at the DNC, in contrast to the Republican National Convention’s seemingly “doom and gloom” vibe, as described by Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa.

Overall, the delegates from Texas were extremely pleased to support a historical presidential candidate. As Representative Sheila Jackson Lee explained, it has been nearly one hundred years since women gained the right to vote, and it is about time we elected a female president.

Delegates can look forward to discussing important issues this week, such as equal pay for women, the cost of higher education, foreign policy, etc. The party hopes to leave the convention on Thursday stronger and more unified than ever.

“Entrepreneurship, collaboration, diversity. That’s what we’re all about,” Texas Delegate, Luciano Garza, said. “That’s our Democratic Party and we’re honored to be here in the city where it all started.”

 

Editor Sam Abrahams reporting live from the Democratic National Convention

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Cougar Claw Exclusive: Texas delegates talk party unity