Hillary Clinton first woman to win presidential nomination of a major party

The crowd prepares to celebrate Hillary Clinton's nomination Tuesday night at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. (Delaware State News/Matt Bittle)

The crowd prepares to celebrate Hillary Clinton’s nomination Tuesday night at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. (Delaware State News/Matt Bittle)

PHILADELPHIA — With delegates emphasizing a general sense of party unity, Delaware gave 23 votes, including 11 from superdelegates, to Hillary Clinton, who was formally nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate for president Tuesday.

Mrs. Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, served as a U.S. senator from New York and U.S. secretary of state and is the first woman in U.S. history to receive the presidential nomination of a major political party.

Representatives from each state took their turns announcing their votes at the Democratic National Convention, and in Delaware’s brief moment in the spotlight, Delaware Democratic Party Chairman and superdelegate John Daniello drew extremely loud applause by referring to the state as “the home of Vice President Joe Biden.”

He also touted the state’s prospects in the upcoming election, introducing U.S. Rep. John Carney as “our next governor.”

The birthplace of Gore-Tex, George Thorogood and Elena Delle Donne, Rep. Carney exclaimed, “casts nine votes for Bernie Sanders and casts 23 votes for the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton!”

The Delaware contingent has had a good view of proceedings in the Wells Fargo Center. Sitting in the stands about 12 rows up from the floor, members have been situated almost directly in front of the stage. They have been joined in the section by delegates from Colorado, Alabama, Louisiana and Washington.

The Delaware contingent has had a good view of proceedings in the Wells Fargo Center. Sitting in the stands about 12 rows up from the floor, members have been situated almost directly in front of the stage. They have been joined in the section by delegates from Colorado, Alabama, Louisiana and Washington. (Delaware State News/Matt Bittle)

The Delaware contingent has had a good view of proceedings in the Wells Fargo Center. Sitting in the stands about 12 rows up from the floor, members have been situated almost directly in front of the stage. They have been joined in the section by delegates from Colorado, Alabama, Louisiana and Washington. (Delaware State News/Matt Bittle)

As one of the nation’s least populous states, Delaware has one of the smallest delegations at the convention. But the group is filled with proud Democrats from across the state who are thrilled at the prospect of representing Delaware on a national stage.

Despite dissension from backers of Sen. Sanders Monday on the convention floor, Delawareans said in interviews shortly before the convention gaveled in they believe most Democrats will support the party nominee against Republican Donald Trump.

Monday “was their night,” Delaware superdelegate Lisa Goodman, a supporter of Mrs. Clinton, said of Sen. Sanders’ supporters.

“There’s a lot of folks who will get there in 100 days but they may need a few days to mourn and accept, but … the Democratic Party has to win in November. Because it’s a very dark future if they don’t,” Jonathan Kirch, an alternate for Sen. Sanders, said.

He dismissed the strife visible on occasion Monday as a normal part of “a messy process.”

Catherine Ciferni, a delegate for Sen. Sanders, said she will “abide by what Bernie wants me to do.” Sen. Sanders has called for his supporters to back Mrs. Clinton and deny Mr. Trump the White House.

But despite that, Ms. Ciferni expressed hesitation to vote for Mrs. Clinton, saying she thinks the Clinton campaign needs to make a stronger case for voting for their candidate beyond simply opposing Mr. Trump.

“I’m a little disappointed in the messaging,” she said.

Frustration over the results of the Democratic primary is something Erik Raser-Schramm knows well.

Mr. Raser-Schramm was a strong backer of Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid, serving as the campaign’s authorized Delaware representative.

This year’s dissension is a natural result of a “spirited” primary, said Mr. Raser-Schramm, who expects Delawareans to line up behind Mrs. Clinton.
He said he “will never forget” her 2008 concession speech, comparing it to Monday night for supporters of Sen. Sanders.

“I had my moment to mourn and be upset that night, but it was like soon after I kind of moved beyond and knew that for us as a Democratic Party it was more important for us to take back the White House,” he said. “This year, it’s the same thing, and hopefully the Sanders folks can see that.”

Mr. Daniello, who has attended, by his approximation, six or seven national conventions, said the event is in sharp contrast to the Republican National Convention last week, which he referred to as a “debacle.”

Ms. Goodman took a similar stance as she pointed to the November election, where, she said, “the choice couldn’t be clearer.”

“The choice will be between a party of inclusion and diversity and ideas versus a party that has in their convention showed nothing but fear and division,” she said.

Both Ms. Goodman and Mr. Raser-Schramm praised the state’s delegation, saying it has been fun to get to know members.

Vice President Biden and President Barack Obama are scheduled to speak today on day three of the convention.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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