Democrats in Hawaii conducted their state convention over the weekend, concluding on Sunday with a floor debate about superdelegates, as well as the selection of Tim Vandeveer to the state party chair position.
According to the Honolulu Civil Beat Vandeveer, a grassroots activist known for his “keeping the country country” campaign on Oahu’s North Shore, is a staunch supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Reportedly, Vandeveer beat three other candidates for the chair position, all with closer ties to the mainstream of the party, including: Jacce Miklanec, Tylor Dos Santos-Tam and Flo Kong Kee.
“When the people lead, our leaders will follow, and that absolutely applies to me,” Vandeveer said. “I am going to need your support to put this party back on track. No matter what side of the debate you are on, we must always engage in civil discourse and treat each other with aloha.”
Hawaii Governor David Ige joined all four candidates on stage after the selection.
“We are in good hands,” Ige said. “Let us come together for victory in November! Mahalo!”
Sanders’ impact was also felt in a floor debate which sought to change how superdelegates align with candidates.
Supporters of the Vermont senator were concerned with the disparity between superdelegates who are supporting Hillary Clinton (four) and those supporting Sanders (four), despite the fact that Sanders defeated Clinton 69.8 percent to 30 percent in the March Democratic Caucus. Two are undecided.
Of the state’s 25 proportional delegates, 17 go to Sanders, with eight aligning with Clinton.