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Dems, GOP name convention delegates

CHARLESTON — While the presidential nominees for both parties are set and the coronavirus pandemic creates complications, the executive committees for both the Democratic and Republican parties in West Virginia named delegates to the national conventions.

The West Virginia Democratic Party named 39 people as delegates and alternates to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wis., according to a press release Tuesday. The DNC convention will take place Monday, Aug. 17, to Thursday, Aug. 20.

The West Virginia Democratic Executive Committee held a virtual state convention June 12 to select their delegates to the national convention. Belinda Biafore, chairwoman of the West Virginia Democratic Party, said the virtual convention allowed people who normally wouldn’t be able to come to a physical state convention the opportunity to participate.

“Although we would have rather met in person to get down to business and see one another, I truly believe the ability to reach Democrats from all across the state without the requirement of travel to Charleston allowed us to elect a diverse slate of Delegates that truly represent Democrats in West Virginia,” Biafore said.

“When you hold in-person events most of the time it’s the same group of people that show up and while those people are certainly valued and appreciated because they are our biggest supporters, we needed to do something to reach further,” Biafore continued. “Our staff and representatives worked tirelessly on the phones and even connecting with Democrats on the ground to be sure that everyone could participate and that this process would be upheld.”

While the physical event is still happening – where delegates will nominate former Delaware U.S. senator and vice president Joe Biden – rules are being worked on to allow for virtual voting. The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee adopted a resolution in May giving the DNC flexibility as the coronavirus pandemic carries on.

Democrats named as delegates include: state Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison; Joseph Jividen; Ron Curry; Barbara Scott; Del. Barbara Fleishauer, D-Monongalia; Anna Gillespie; Richard Gottlieb; Rod Snyder; Angelo Cocchiaro; Karen Coria; former secretary of state Natalie Tennant; Patti Hamilton; Sophia Kaufman; David Crawley; Gibbs Kindeman; Bill Sohonage; Heather Ritter; Terri Giles; Jeanette Rowsey; Martha Poore; Darius Goard; Daniel Moreno; AFT-WV President Fred Albert; Kim Frum; Betty Giles; Del. Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha; Lora Walker; Wheeling City Councilmember-elect Rosemary Ketchum; Thomas Vogel; Alex Orton; Kameron Miller; Biafore; state Democratic Party Vice Chairman William Laird; DNC National Committeeman Pat Maroney; DNC National Committeewoman Elaine Harris; U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; and State Treasurer John Perdue.

The Republican National Convention will take place Monday, Aug. 24 through Thursday, Aug. 27, with much of the business taking place in Charlotte, N.C., but major events – such as the nomination of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for a second term – will take place in Jacksonville, Fla. The decision to split up the RNC convention came after disagreement between officials in North Carolina and the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign over social distancing requirements due to COVID-19.

The West Virginia Republican Executive Committee announced Monday that 64 delegates and alternates had been selected for the RNC convention at the state party’s summer meeting in Braxton County over the weekend.

Typically, Republicans wishing to be convention delegates file as candidates and are voted on during the party primary election. Instead, party leaders and Trump campaign officials sought a change last summer where instead of being voted on, Republicans wishing to be convention delegates would fill out an application and submit it to the state party. After the primary, the applications would be turned over to the Trump campaign, who would then choose the delegates.

“President Donald J. Trump’s campaign nominated a slate that reflects West Virginia,” said Melody Potter, chairwoman of the West Virginia Republican Party. “We’re proud to have all regions and lots of diversity among our delegation. West Virginians are excited and passionate about supporting President Trump and his agenda. West Virginia gave President Trump the highest vote percentage of any state in 2016, and we will do that again in 2020.”

Republicans named as delegates include: RNC National Committeewoman Beth Bloch; Tom Bloch; Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson; state Sen. Sue Cline, R-Wyoming; Rhett Dusenbury; Marnie Edwards; Tony Hodge; Tresa Howell; Phillips Kolsun; Pam Krushansky; Del. Daniel Linville, R-Cabell; former Berkeley County lawmaker John Overington; Kevin Poe; Rob Potter; Lisa Ramey; Lewis Rexroad; Roman Stauffer; Sue Spicer; Larry Swann; state Sen. Charles Trump IV, R-Morgan; Kristian Warner; Michelle Wilshere; Summers County Commissioner Jack Woodrum; Virginia Brown; Vienna City Councilmember Roger Conley; Norma Davis; Virginia King; Veronica Lewis; Secretary of State Mac Warner; Del. Caleb Hanna, R-Nicholas; Karen McCoy; and T-Anne See.

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