Island Dems attend convention and help decide close contest

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A small contingent of Vineyard delegates attended the state Democratic convention Friday and Saturday in Worcester.

“The fact that there were only two races in the lower constitutional officers — treasurer and auditor —undoubtedly contributed to the smallest Vineyard delegation in many years,” Robert Sawyer of Tisbury told The Times. “I have been a delegate at every convention to elect constitutional officers for sixteen years. In the past we have had a delegation of 20 to 24. This year we had 11.”

Mr. Sawyer said the Vineyard delegation voted unanimously in both contested races and in each case supported the convention favorite.

Every town but Aquinnah, which has not assembled a Democratic town committee and therefore did not have a process for electing delegates, had the opportunity to be represented; however not all Island delegates attended the convention.

Island delegates who attended the convention included: Susan Strang of Chilmark; Mas Kimball and Margaret Stafursky of Oak Bluffs; Robert M. Sawyer, Sherri Thomas, June Parker, and Chris Lorant of Vineyard Haven; Rufus Peebles, Paddy Moore and Deborah Pigeon of West Tisbury; and ex-officio Dukes County county commission delegate Tom Hallahan.

The race for Treasurer was between Steve Grossman, former Democratic National Committee chairman and candidate for governor, and Steve Murphy, a Boston City Councilor.

The convention selected Mr. Grossman, who had the support of the 11 Vineyard delegates.

The race for State Auditor was between Guy Glodis, Sheriff of Worcester County, Suzanne Bump, former state Labor Secretary and former state Representative, and Michael Lake, a newcomer and political activist.

Mr. Glodis was considered to be the strongest candidate but there was a clear groundswell at the convention for Suzanne Bump, Mr. Sawyer said.

The tally was 1,368 for Ms. Bump, 1,350 for Mr. Glodis and 908 for Mr. Lake. The Vineyard delegation cast all 11 votes for Ms. Bump.

Under convention rules any candidate receiving 15 percent of the vote may go on to a Democratic Primary in September. “In this case it appears all three candidates will vie for the Democratic nomination at a primary in September,” Mr. Sawyer said.