The Democratic nominating convention starts today and there are already sparks flying between the candidates for state Treasurer and Secretary of the State.
Two of the candidates for state Treasurer, four of the candidates for Secretary of the State, and state Rep. Sean Scanlon who is running for the position of state Comptroller sent out a statement Thursday night expressing concern that Sen. Matt Lesser, a candidate for Secretary of the State, is trying to change the order of the nominations at the convention.
“It’s deeply concerning that one campaign would try to change the order of nominations at our convention in order to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else,” they said in a joint statement. “The process for determining a nominating order was set weeks ago in a fair and transparent manner and every candidate has planned accordingly. Attempting to change it at the eleventh hour is neither fair nor transparent. We believe the current, agreed upon order should stand and we urge the Rules Committee and all delegates to reject any attempt to undo it for the benefit of one candidate.”
The letter was signed by Dita Bhargava, Maritza Bond, Josh Elliott, Erick Russell, Hilda Santiago, Stephanie Thomas and Sean Scanlon.
At the moment delegates to the convention will be asked to vote on three uncontested races: attorney general, comptroller, lieutenant governor and governor, first. Followed by state treasurer and secretary of the state.
“Nothing has been set yet. The Rules Committee will meet tomorrow and we look forward to seeing what the final rules will be,” Carter Johnson, a spokeswoman for Lesser’s campaign said.
Sources say there’s concern about the Democratic Party’s history of ticket balancing both race and gender. That means if the state treasurer’s contest goes first they could choose a male, which would mean it’s unlikely they would choose a male to run for secretary of the state.
Lesser’s campaign has been making calls to the 36 members of the Rules Committee.
Patty McQueen, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Party, said the Rules Committee will vote on the order of the nominations, which have been posted on the party’s website, today.
“The order of nominations for contested constitutional offices was determined with knowledge and participation of those candidates,” McQueen said. “The order of offices was established by a coin toss conducted by the Chair. The order of individual candidates nominated was determined by names pulled from a basket by the party’s Executive Director, while on a Zoom call with all candidates involved.”