Idaho’s pro-Clinton superdelegate resists Sanders backers

A Florida delegate show his support of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Monday.
A Florida delegate show his support of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Monday. AP

Carolyn Boyce, national committeewoman for the Idaho Democratic Party, is the lone supporter of Hillary Clinton among Idaho’s superdelegates. In a state that voted overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders in its March Democratic caucus, Boyce’s position is unpopular. Idaho gave Sanders 18 of its 23 elected delegates.

We want the Bernie people to join us in defeating Donald Trump.

Democratic superdelegate Carolyn Boyce

Boyce announced her support for Clinton before the Idaho caucus. Following the state’s party convention, she began receiving emails, which quickly turned into hundreds of emails a day. Boyce is an accountant with Carolyn Boyce CPA & Associates in Boise.

Online petitions were drafted to force her to change her pledge.

Idaho’s four superdelegates are state and national party officials.

Superdelegates have been under scrutiny by Sanders supporters. While regular delegates are awarded proportionally based on the way people voted, superdelegates are allowed to vote however they like.

One criticism against superdelegates is that they don’t have to reflect the position of the people in their state. On Saturday at the Democrats’ pre-convention rules committee meeting, Sanders and Clinton supporters came to a compromise, limiting the number of superdelegates in the future.

At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Boyce proudly sports a Clinton/Kaine button.

Petitions calling for Sanders to be reinstated as a candidate on Tuesday’s ballot circulated during breakfast at the DoubleTree hotel in Valley Forge, where delegates from Idaho, West Virginia, Hawaii, North and South Dakota and Utah are staying during.

The goal of the petition is to bring to attention to the DNC that enough people support Sanders and want him as a candidate at the convention said Boise native and Sanders delegate Naomi Johnson.

While Boyce said she admires the passion of the Sanders delegates, she hopes they’ll agree to unite to stop Trump and the Republican party.

“I hope that by the end of Thursday, after Hillary Clinton gives her speech accepting the nomination, people will realize we have to vote for her or Donald Trump will win,” Boyce said. “It’s just vital we stick together.”

Jennifer Kerrigan is a student journalist at Temple University: jennifer.kerrigan@temple.edu

Unity elusive on Monday

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders addressed his delegates at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Monday afternoon, urging party unity. But when Sanders told his delgates that the party needs Hillary Clinton “to defeat Trump,” delegates cried out “No!” and “We want Bernie!”

“There was a lot of emotion when he said we needed Hillary,” said Sanders delegate Brittany Ruland of Twin Falls. “Some of the things he said really hit hard, especially about Hillary.”

Idaho Democratic Party National Committeewoman and superdelegate Carolyn Boyce, a Clinton supporter, had urged Sanders delegates to back Clinton. But she said later Monday she didn’t see that happening anytime soon.

Boyce, who publicly supported Clinton back in January, has expressed her hope that Sanders supporters will jump over to Clinton, despite backlash Boyce has received for choosing Clinton over Sanders, who won the majority votes in Idaho.

Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln, a Sanders delegate from Caldwell county, is more optimistic the party will come together.

“There are many (delegates) frustrated, which I am too,” she said, “but at the end of the day those that consider themselves true progressives and Democrats will see the bigger picture.”

Jennifer Kerrigan