Delegates from seven area counties gathered in Shelby Saturday, May 21, for the Tenth Congressional District Democratic convention. The district includes Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Polk, and Rutherford counties, the Asheville area of Buncombe County, and part of Catawba County.
Those attending cheered rousing comments from two Democratic candidates seeking to replace Republican incumbents in Washington, elected five delegates to the July Democratic National Convention where the party’s presidential candidate will be elected, and dealt with business from adopting resolutions to naming district representatives for state party committees.
Deborah Ross of Raleigh, candidate for U. S. Senate, and Andy Millard of Tryon, candidate for the Tenth District seat in the U. S. Congress,were the keynoters.
During the convention, separate caucuses were held for supporters of the two Democratic presidential primary candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for the purpose of electing national Democratic convention candidates corresponding to Tenth District voting results in the March 15 primary election. Fifteen Democrats from throughout the district had applied for the two Clinton and three Sanders delegate slots.
Betsy H. Wells of Grover in Cleveland County was top vote-getter in the Clinton caucus and will travel to Philadelphia in July for her third national convention as a delegate and her fifth overall. Wells, who continues to serve at the grassroots as Grover Democratic precinct chair, is a longtime volunteer leader in the party in numerous capacities. She is a former chair of the Cleveland County Democratic Party, continues to serve on the N. C. Democratic Party state Executive Committee, and is currently in her fourth year as chair of Tenth District Democrats. She presided at the Saturday event. Along with Wells, Robert Kellogg of Gaston County will represent the Tenth District as a Clinton delegate. Robin Jordan, of Gaston County, along with Ann Hamilton and Jeffery Rose, of Buncombe County, will represent the district as a Sanders delegate.
“It’s going to be a historic national convention, What an honor to represent our district! I appreciate your confidence and support,” Wells said.
Among those elected as district representatives on state party committees was Roger Harris of Shelby, named to the NCDP Committee on Credentials and Appeals.
Cleveland County Democrats were hosts for the district convention, held in the staff development center of the County Schools Central Administration building. Party and precinct volunteers including members of Democratic Women of Cleveland County pitched in to festively decorate the meeting hall in red, white, and blue, manage logistics, prepare lunches, and handle greetings and registration.
“It was a big job, but worth it,” Wells said. “We had many compliments on the excellent facility, the friendly atmosphere, and Cleveland County’s hospitality.”