Ellis County Democrats gathered in Waxahachie over the weekend to continue the party’s now famous “Texas Two-Step” process of selecting a presidential candidate.
With delegates from all 45 county precincts, those who had been elected in precinct caucuses back on March 4 attended the county convention Saturday which may have been the largest gathering ever of the Democratic Party in Ellis County.
The official delegate count was 340, as announced at the beginning of the meeting by Larry Wilson, Democratic County Chairman.
There were 141 delegates pledged to Sen. Hillary Clinton and 199 pledged to Sen. Barack Obama, plus an undetermined number of alternate delegates who just wanted to be there for the excitement as well as a staff estimated to comprise at least 30 volunteers – some of whom had begun setting up the night before.
Despite the lines and resulting long wait to sign in and be certified, the mood was upbeat and at times even electric as people who said they had never been active in politics before compared notes with others who expressed amazement that they were finally participating in a presidential campaign that would truly matter in Texas.
“I am still truly amazed at the excitement, and the way people were willing to wait patiently while various committees, that are part of any convention process, conducted their business,” Wilson said.
During our conversation his wife, Lynn Wilson, chimed in that during the wait the membership table for Texas Democratic Women of Ellis County was busy, signing up at least 15 new members.
When all was said and done, at 9:20 p.m. Saturday, 32 delegates had been elected to move up to the Texas Democratic State Convention, to be held June 6-7, with 19 allocated to Obama and 13 to Clinton.
Early reports from across the state suggest that the statewide conventions have shifted the outcome in Texas to Obama, where he now leads by five delegates.