San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Democrats in C.R. Fail To Get Convention Seats

U.S. expats in Costa Rica failed to score any coveted seats as delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

The convention, to be held in Denver, Colorado, in August, will nominate either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to run against Republican Sen. John McCain in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

In its global convention held in Vancouver, Canada, last weekend, Democrats Abroad decided to send six expatriates from the Americas region: three from Mexico and three from Canada.

Paul Kloes, Democrats Abroad Costa Rica chairman, said the Canada meeting was his first convention and at first, it was sheer chaos.

“It was a learning process,” he said. “The complexity kind of took me by surprise.” Kloes also said getting prized seats is more expensive than a lot of people can afford.

Results of the first-ever global primary, which included votes from expats here in February, are the following: Obama 65.8%, Clinton 32.5%, John Edwards 0.7%, Dennis Kucinich 0.6%, uncommitted 0.2%, Joseph Biden 0.1%, Bill Richardson 0.1%.

According to Kloes, Democrats Abroad will send 22 delegates – 14 pledged and eight “super” – to Denver. Pledged candidates have to vote for their candidate while super delegates have discretion.

Obama has nine pledged delegates to Clinton’s five.

Under arcane party rules, each Democrats Abroad delegate has only half a vote at the national convention, meaning Obama has 4.5 votes and Clinton has 2.5 from expats.

Democrats Abroad is the official overseas branch of the U.S. Democratic Party, according to its Web site.With members in 164 countries around the globe, the organization holds eight positions on the

Democratic National Committee.

The general election will take place Nov. 4.


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