Local Dems split vote in favor of Clinton

(Sarah Pridgeon photo) Rod Knudson speaks on behalf of Bernie Sanders during Saturday’s Crook County Democratic caucus.
(Sarah Pridgeon photo) Rod Knudson speaks on behalf of Bernie Sanders during Saturday’s Crook County Democratic caucus.

Sanders wins state vote, both receive equal statewide delegate share

By Sarah Pridgeon

Crook County’s preference for Democratic presidential candidate swayed from the overall Wyoming result after Saturday’s party caucus. With the official figures announcing Bernie Sanders as the state’s pick, the local party divided its two votes and will send one delegate to the state caucus for Hillary Clinton, half a vote for Bernie Sanders and half a vote uncommitted.

According to the official count, Sanders received 55.7 percent of the Wyoming vote, while Clinton received 44.3 percent. Nevertheless, both candidates picked up seven delegates to join the four superdelegates who pledged their support for Clinton in January.

In Crook County, Clinton received 28 votes, while Sanders received 21 and nine opted for an uncommitted vote.

Ralph Goodson led the push for Crook County remaining uncommitted for now, urging his fellow party members to consider that such a vote could potentially allow the local party to influence the direction that the state moves in.

Though he was initially joined by only one other person, a slow trickle of supporters moved to the uncommitted corner of the caucus until the 15 percent needed to allocate half a vote was reached.

Before party members moved to the corner representing their choice, Chairman Randy Leinen invited them to speak on behalf of their chosen candidate. Clinton, Sanders and uncommitted each had a speaker and second, but no party member was willing to speak for the fourth candidate who qualified for the Wyoming nomination: Roque De La Fuente of California.

Fuente was therefore not included in the voting.

At the state convention in May, Crook County’s delegates will vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged through the caucus process. There will also be an opportunity for state delegates to put themselves forward as candidates for the national convention.