Party Chairs Address Dem Convention Skippers

The Chairman of the West Virginia Democrat Party says the Mountain State will be well represented at the Democratic National Convention in September, even without three of the state’s leading Democrats.

"In the past, if you look at Republican conventions or Democrat conventions, you see some of the folks that are able to attend, some that are not.  That’s up to them as individuals and candidates," Chairman Larry Puccio said on Tuesday’s MetroNews Talkline.

On Monday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Third District Congressman Nick Rahall, three automatic delegates to the Democrat National Convention, said they would not be attending this year.

State Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas claims the three are doing so to avoid being linked, as delegates, to President Barack Obama who is expected to be renominated.

"A lack of leadership, embarrassing to them and completely predictable," is how Lucas described the decisions from those candidates to skip Charlotte.  He was also a guest on Tuesday’s MetroNews Talkline.

"I could have respected honesty.  When it boils down to it, West Virginians like honesty," Lucas said.  "They’re going to support Barack Obama.  We know that, but at least tell us that, at least be man enough to stand up and not be cowards and skip a convention."

Democrat Consultant Mike Plante, though, says Senator Manchin, Governor Tomblin and Congressman Rahall have made the right move.

"Every time (U.S. Senate Candidate John) Raese campaign or the (Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bill) Maloney campaign tries to make this race a referendum on (President) Obama, it provides yet another opportunity for the Tomblin campaign or the Manchin campaign to show West Virginians they’re not national Democrats, they’re West Virginia Democrats," Plante said.

The Democratic National Convention will be held during the week of September 3rd in Charlotte, North Carolina.  President Obama is expected to again accept the Party’s Presidential Nomination on Thursday, September 6th at Bank of America Stadium.

The Republican Nomination Convention is scheduled for August 27th – 30th in Tampa, Florida.

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