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41 LI Democrats ready to head to Philly for convention

Rep. Kathleen Rice in October 2015. The Garden

Rep. Kathleen Rice in October 2015. The Garden City Democrat told Long Island planners that they have "money for at least the next five years" on Tuesday, June 19, 2016. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Long Island delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia will include a who’s who of prominent Nassau and Suffolk party figures.

Among the 41 Democratic delegates going to the DNC, which starts Monday, are Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, and former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, who’s running to replace Israel in the 3rd Congressional District.

Robert Zimmerman, a delegate and Democratic National Committeeman from Great Neck, said there’s great demand for tickets to the Philadelphia convention.

“I think what will distinguish this convention is the history of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, and abject disgust of Donald Trump’s candidacy,” Zimmerman said.

He called the Republican convention, which ended Thursday, “a political rendition of ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ ” and said Democrats’ “will be a refreshing change to see people speaking from the podium who aren’t foaming at the mouth and to see the Democratic Party talk about issues.

Jacobs, the Nassau Party chairman, said the Democrats’ convention would be more upbeat than the Republicans’.

“It’ll be a positive message, an optimistic message, far different than the gloom and doom coming out of Cleveland,” Jacobs said. He added, “I’m sure that there will be speakers who point out why Donald Trump is not qualified to be president.”

There are 26 Long Island delegates pledged to Clinton and 11 delegates pledged for Sanders. Another four are unbound. Most delegates were selected during the April 19 presidential primary.

Democratic rules mandate that delegates be split evenly between men and women, Jacobs said.

He said he was still juggling requests for credentials and passes and waiting to hear back from campaigns.

One prominent Democrat not attending is Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Rich Schaffer, who’ll be staying home. “I will have a better view and see more of what’s going on from my couch or in front of my computer,” he said.


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