Hundreds “felt the Bern” Saturday afternoon in Olympia at a rally on the state Capitol steps.
They carried signs reading “Support Bernie Sanders,” “It’s not democracy if you choose for us,” and “We want democracy for our superdelegates.”
By 2:30 p.m., about 200 people had turned out to support Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, and the rally was scheduled to stretch into the evening.
They are asking Washington’s superdelegates — elected officials and party leaders who aren’t bound to vote based on the caucuses — to respect the wishes of caucus-goers and support the Vermont Democrat, too. During the March 26 caucuses, Sanders won 72 percent of delegates.
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Most of Washington’s 17 superdelegates, including Gov. Jay Inslee and members of the state’s congressional delegation, have said they’re supporting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
Rally co-organizer Megan “Boo” Parent of Tacoma said that doesn’t sit right with her.
“The superdelegates went out and shouted their support for Hillary before we even had the caucuses,” Parent said. “That’s not right.”
She and Jeff Lamborn of Puyallup came up with the idea for the rally after attending the caucuses. Lamborn said he hopes to hold the superdelegates responsible — to remind them that they could lose their upcoming elections if they don’t listen to their constituents.
“I’m against the idea of superdelegates to begin with,” Lamborn said. “They’re there to keep outsiders out, and to keep insiders safe.”
Lamborn said he’s always voted Republican in previous elections, but Sanders changed that. He said Sanders is the only honest candidate, and the only one focusing on the real issues: the problems with big government and big business, health care, and income inequality.
Jane Bradbury of Olympia said she’s also inspired by Sanders and his moral compass. She said she believes Sanders is respected more than Clinton is internationally, despite Clinton’s experience as Secretary of State.
“It’s not that I don’t like Mrs. Clinton,” Bradbury said. “It’s that I like Bernie better. We don’t need just any woman in the White House. We need the right person.”