Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

GR resident to attend national convention

 


A Green River Democrat will represent Wyoming at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Cathy Denman, who is the current Sweetwater County Democratic Party Committeewoman, is excited to attend the national convention and represent one of 18 Wyoming delegates at the national convention, which is scheduled to take place July 25-28 in Philadelphia.

Denman decided before she went to the Wyoming Democratic Convention that she was interested in attending the national convention as a delegate.

“Before I went to state, I needed to decide and fill out all of the forms,” Denman said.

Even before the Wyoming Convention, Denman needed to declare at the Sweetwater County Democratic Caucus which candidate she was going to throw her support behind. For Denman, the answer was easy. She would support Bernie Sanders. Denman said she truly believes in his progressive ideas.

“It was pretty evenly split with delegates,” Denman’s husband Mike Masterson said about the county’s caucus.

Denman and Masterson got involved with the local Democratic Party three or four years ago.

It was always something Denman wanted to do. When Denman was about 13, she made a promise to her grandfather that she would study up on the issues and become affiliated with a group she believed in.

“It goes back to deep family history,” Denman said. “I’m a daughter of the American Revolutionary War.”

Denman has conducted a family history on the Denman family, which goes back to 1650. She found out her great grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War and was awarded 4,000 acres in Iowa for it. She also discovered she had two great, grandmothers and a great grandfather who didn’t fight in the war, but were involved in the war in some way or another. On her mother’s side, her great grandmother was an abolitionist and part of the women’s temperance organization in Colorado.

With this in mind, Denman became involved in the Democratic Party. When she and her husband found out the Democratic National Convention was going to take place in Pittsburg, she decided to put her name in.

“It has always been a bucket list to go see that liberty bell and constitution hall,” Denman said.

Both Denman and her husband decided to try and become delegates so they could represent Sanders and visit historical items in Philadelphia before the convention.

One thing Denman and Masterson didn’t realize is how much it would cost to attend the national convention. A delegate pays for everything and they are told which hotel they are going to stay in. Each state is picked and told which hotel they are going to stay at. Luckily, the Wyoming delegates got one of the most reasonable-priced hotels. They will pay about $300 a night, while delegates from other states could have to pay up to $5,000 a night. Denman and Masterson were happy they saved a lot of money when they retired so they can take a trip like this.

State Convention

At the Wyoming Democratic Convention, the Democrats were split into two groups. Those for Hillary Clinton and those for Bernie Sanders.

Masterson said at this convention, the Democrats created their platform, finished up business and elected national delegates.

“There’s a bit of a conflict between those for Hillary and Bernie,” Masterson said.

The super delegates should remain neutral until after the state convention, but that wasn’t happening.

While Denman was in her sessions, she kept getting phone messages and text messages from Rep. Charles Pelkey of House District 45, who was elected as the state convention chair.

Denman said when she caught up with Pelkey he wanted to make sure she still wanted to attend the national convention. He informed her that under the pledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials category only two qualified to be Sanders delegates. Those were Pelkey and Denman. Pelkey would have gone because he is a Wyoming Representative, but he’s up for re-election and having a tough campaign, Denman said. He appointed her to go in his stead. Denman qualified because she was elected as the Sweetwater County Democratic Party Committeewoman.

Just like that, Denman was a national delegate for Sanders.

“This is not for the faint of heart,” Denman said.

With Clinton clinching the nomination, and Sanders endorsing Clinton, Denman isn’t sure what her role would be at the convention, but she and the other 17 Wyoming delegates know who they are a delegate for.

Denman said she already found out that when she arrives at the national convention she will have to keep track of her credentials. She is not to lose them, and if she does she must notify someone immediately. Denman said she was told she will board a bus to the convention in the morning and that same bus will take her back to the hotel in the evening.

“It’s been a learning process,” Denman said.

 

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