Politics Within Politics View All Posts

photo of Tonia Bui

About Politics Within Politics

This blog will serve as a commentary that explores issues related to the intersection of American politics, race, and gender. Its focus is on the leadership of diverse women who served or currently serve in a role that contributes to shaping the outcome of political campaigns or civic engagement/voting efforts.... Read more

Discover Other Local Blogs

We have a great number of amazing blog posts contributed by our local bloggers. Discover what is happening in your neighborhood by reading their latest posts.

A 101 Breakdown On Becoming A Presidential Convention Delegate

PWP 2016Now that it’s 2016, the biggest buzz is around who will win the Democratic and Republican presidential nomination during the primary elections.  The primary election for the state of Maryland is on April 26, 2016. Party convention delegates, who represent each state, play a major role in nominating the presidential candidate for the general election. The complex rules to select delegates vary by party, and at times, by state and Congressional district. To kick off the new year, Politics Within Politics provides female political operatives a breakdown on how to become a delegate in the presidential nominating process.

 Who can become a delegate?

Delegates are often current elected officials, party activists, local political party leaders, community leaders and organizers, or early supporters of presidential candidates. These individuals are registered with the Democratic Party or Republican Party in the state they reside in. In general, any individual who is campaigning, supporting, or volunteering for the presidential candidate of her choice can run for a convention delegate position.

What is the main role of a delegate at the party convention?

Delegates of each state are choosing their presidential candidates to represent their political parties. At both party’s conventions, delegates must cast their vote in favor of one candidate. Delegates continue voting if there is no majority for one candidate.

Is there more than one way to become a convention delegate?

Yes. Candidates can run by being on the primary ballot for Congressional district level delegates and alternatives. Party leaders, elected officials, and candidates who run for at-large delegates and alternatives can also become convention delegates by filing after the primary election. Filing processes are different for each of these categories. Check with the Maryland Democratic Party and Maryland Republican Party for more details on how to run after the primary.

 What is the general selection process to become a delegate?

The requirements for delegate selection vary by political party. Candidates for delegate must meet specific filing requirements and deadlines, but that does not guarantee their placement on the ballot. Ultimately, the Presidential campaigns decide who is placed on the ballot for delegate during the primary. For candidates running after the primary, the presidential campaigns will select their state of candidates, and the party committees will elect them.

Running for a convention delegate seat is just like running for elected office. Campaigning for yourself is involved, so make 2016 the year you put your political skills to the test! Check out the links below to find detailed information, requirements, and filing rules to become a convention delegate based on political party. Potential candidates for convention delegates are encouraged to read the delegate selection plans thoroughly to ensure that they meet all criteria for filing.

Republican Maryland Party                                Md Democratic Party

How do you plan to become politically involved in 2016? Let us know on Twitter: @abuoyedpath #politicswithin



Like this post? Sign up for our Daily Update here.
Tonia Bui

About Tonia Bui

Tonia Bui is currently a strategic communications consultant. Most recently, she served as treasurer for the Hoan Dang for County Council campaign in Montgomery County. Tonia previously served as the Communications Director for the Nguyen for Delegate Campaign (VA-67) in 2013 and led the Asian American voter outreach efforts for the Darcy Burner for Congress Campaign (WA-08) in 2008. Her efforts to build stakeholder engagement stems from her experiences serving as the Member Outreach Assistant to Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-34). She also previously worked for U.S. Senator Barack Obama (IL-13) and California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (CA-12). Her work has been published by the Harvard Asian American Policy Review and cited by scholars of the political science textbook, Campaigns on the Cutting Edge. Tonia holds a Master in Public Policy from American University and a B.A. in Mass Communications and Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Read more of Tonia's blog Politics Within Politics.


| Comments are closed.

Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter