Democratic Party turns down Md. plan for picking delegates

July 16, 1991|By John Fairhall | John Fairhall,Evening Sun Staff

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic National Committee has rejected the Maryland Democratic Party's plan for selecting delegates to the presidential nominating convention, forcing state party leaders to develop an acceptable alternative or risk losing delegates.

Maryland's plan did not meet a new DNC requirement that delegates to the nominating convention be awarded to presidential candidates based on the candidates' popular vote totals in the March 3 primary.

Maryland's plan instead rested on direct election of delegates, each committed to a particular presidential candidate.

The top delegate vote-getters in each of the state's eight congressional districts would have gone to the convention, regardless of the popular vote received by presidential candidates, who also are on the ballot.

The DNC approved its requirement in 1990. Supporters of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who lost the 1988 Democratic nomination to Michael Dukakis, sought the change because they said it would better assure that voters' wishes were fulfilled.

But Maryland party leaders don't see it that way.

Led by chairman Nathan Landow, they voted this spring to keep the party's delegate election system, which they say has been in place for 22 years and works best for party members who vote in the primary.

Landow yesterday expressed outrage at the DNC's decision, which was made over the weekend.

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