April 23, 2019/Blog, Media

So you want to be a Delegate for your Favorite Presidential Candidate | Texas Democrats 2020 Series

Texas Democrats 2020 Series is a multi-part look on Texas Democrats path to victory in 2020. Texas is the biggest battleground state. In today’s post, we look at how to become a national delegate and how Texas’ delegates are calculated.

So you want to be a delegate for your favorite presidential candidate in 2020? Here’s how it will work in a nutshell:

The State Democratic Executive Committee has adopted the 2020 Delegate Selection Plan for submission to the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee. Once approved during the summer of 2019, the rules and processes will be in place officially.

Texas sends the second largest delegation to the Democratic National Convention, which will be held on July 13–16, 2020, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Texas’ delegation is 281 persons, 262 delegates and 19 alternates.


The Democratic National Convention will be held on July 13–16, 2020 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

How many national delegates does Texas have and how are they selected?

Texas’ delegation is 281 persons, 262 delegates and 19 alternates.

The delegates selected are in three categories: 149 District-Level delegates selected by attendees at the state convention by senate district caucuses of the supporters of each candidate who wins delegates. A candidate must have won at least 15% of the vote in the senate district to win district delegates.

Concurrently with looking at the statewide votes, we also look at how each candidate did in each of the 31 state senate districts. The same rule applies here that a candidate must have won at least 15% of the vote in the senate district to win district delegates. Based on the strength of Democrats voting for the presidential nominee in 2016 (Clinton) and the governor nominee in 2018 (Valdez), the party has already assigned the 149 district delegates across all 31 senate districts. The bluest district (SD 14 in Austin) will have 10 national delegates to allocate. The smallest districts (SD 31 and SD 28 in the Panhandle) only have two.

Click here to see all 31 district allocations.

49 At-Large Delegates and 30 Pledged Elected and Party Officials (PLEO) who are selected by a nominations committee process at the state convention. On election night, we’ll see who won. A candidate must get 15% statewide to win At-Large and PLEO delegates. Once we’ve “done the math,” the party will assign the statewide percentages to the 49 At-Large and then to the 30 PLEO delegates. We disregard the votes for those who receive less.

There are 34 automatic delegates (formerly called superdelegates). These folks are unpledged and are selected because of their party positions. In Texas, we have two types: the Democratic members of Congress and the members of the Democratic National Committee. Under a new national rule in place for 2020, these folks automatically attend, but they don’t have a vote in the nominating process unless the convention delegates are unable to select a nominee by majority vote on the first ballot. They vote on all other matters such as the platform and rules and have a nominating vote on any second or subsequent ballot for the presidential nomination.

 

The entire delegation must be equally balanced by gender, half male and half female. The delegation should “look like” Texas, too. We will set affirmative action goals for historically underrepresented groups: Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, LGBT Texans, youth (people under 36) and people with disabilities.

The biggest step in this process is for Democrats to “allocate” the delegates among the presidential candidates. We do that in a presidential primary that will be held on “Super Tuesday” March 3, 2020. That is the same election where we nominated candidates for all offices from U.S. Senate to Constable. Candidates file to be on the ballot between November 9 and December 9, 2019 with the Texas Democratic Party.


Steps to become a delegate

STEP ONE: Pick who you wish to vote for in the March 3, 2020 presidential primary

 

STEP TWO: Campaign, donate, work and organize for your candidate. The more votes they get, the more delegates they win, and the more likely you have a slot in your area to run for!

Check out our online training platform to learn how to organize your community.

STEP THREE: Sign up to attend your county or senatorial convention on March 21, 2020.

Beginning this Summer, Texas Democratic Party will post a site for folks to register to attend their county or senate district conventions on March 21, 2020. At those conventions, delegates are selected to the state convention which will be held in San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Be the first to know about the 2020 convention

Fill this out if you want to be a delegate for the 2020 convention.

STEP FOUR: Attend your county/senatorial convention on March 21, 2020 and get yourself elected to the state convention.

Information of how this all works will be distributed in the spring of 2020. It’s easy and over 12,000 folks will be going, so if you simply follow the process, you’ll win a state delegate seat.

 

STEP FIVE: File to run as a delegate for your candidate beginning March 23, 2020.

A person must file a statement of candidacy with the Texas Democratic Party in order to become a candidate for a delegate. You’ll indicate if you wish to run for district delegate, or as an At-Large or PLEO delegate. (Note: you’ll know whether your candidate won any delegate seats in your district at this point and whether they are male or female, etc. If not, and they won some state At-Large slots, you can run for those, too). If your candidate is no longer running or didn’t meet the 15% threshold, you can change allegiance to another candidate.

 

STEP SIX: Campaign to be elected!

The Texas Democratic Party will post lists of other state delegates pledged in your district to your candidate on our website. Only delegates for your candidate will be voting, so the pool may be just a few dozen up to several hundred for the front runners. That means email, call, and visit your fellow delegates and ask for their vote. It’s a campaign!

 

STEP SEVEN: Didn’t win in the District? Run At-Large at the State Convention

There will be a nominations committee made up of representatives from each campaign that won statewide At-Large delegates. These people decide who these delegates will be. However, they must use these slots to assure that we’ve met the affirmative action goals for underrepresented groups.

 

STEP EIGHT: Head to Milwaukee!

So you got elected. Know that this is not an inexpensive trip. You are responsible for all costs of transportation, and five nights in an expensive hotel. We assist in roommate selection but the cost is mostly on you. Plan on spending about $1500. You can hold fundraisers and some groups help folks who need assistance.

STEP NINE: Have a great life-changing experience nominating the next President!

 

STEP TEN: TURN TEXAS BLUE

No matter what happens, the most important part is that you come home to Texas and help our nominee turn this state BLUE!