Some Democrats to skip their convention
A monitor in Times Square projects Barack Obama accepting the Democratic presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
June 21st, 2012
03:43 PM ET
2 years ago

Some Democrats to skip their convention

(CNN) - A growing list of Democrats in competitive districts and states will not attend this year's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The elected officials said they intend to spend the time with their constituents, especially given the four-day event's close proximity to Election Day.

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Rep. Mark Critz of Pennsylvania is up for election in November in a re-drawn competitive 12th Congressional District. In a statement, Critz said it is more important that he spend time in the district "listening to the people" instead of at the convention, scheduled to take place between September 3 and September 6.

"Since I was elected, my focus has been on creating jobs for people here rather than focusing on the agendas of the political parties in Washington and that will remain the case as long as I am serving in Congress," he said Thursday.

Two New York representatives made their plans clear this week as well. Rep. Kathy Hochul, who won a competitive four-candidate special election in 2011 to replace Republican Rep. Chris Lee after he resigned, said "I guarantee that my time will be better spent meeting the farmers, small business owners and other people who put me here."

Rep. Bill Owens also won a close special election in 2009 that received national attention to fill the House seat left vacant by Republican incumbent John McHugh.

His office said the congressman will spend the time working in his North County district.

These names were added to members of the West Virginia delegation who made their intentions clear earlier this week.

West Virginia's Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Nick Rahall earlier in said they will not attend the events.

Manchin, the conservative Democrat representing West Virginia who has distanced himself from the president in the past, said in a statement he will spend the fall "focused on the people of West Virginia, whether that's representing them in my official U.S. Senate duties or here at home" instead of on the next election.

The first-term Manchin won a special election in 2010 following the death of Sen. Robert Byrd and is now up for a full six-year term. He will face off this fall against Republican John Raese, who Manchin ran against in the 2010 special election.

Rahall's communications director said "Coming on the heels of Labor Day, Congressman Rahall prefers to spend that time in West Virginia with his constituents."

Sen. John McCain won West Virginia with 55.6% of the vote in 2008, and it went for former President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Successful Democrats in the state tend to be more conservative.

Representatives for the Democratic National Convention did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Filed under: 2012 • Democratic National Convention • Democrats
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Taylor

    CNN, are you looking for a reply. So What both parties have been know to skip the convention. So what, what are you looking for and why are you looking it ? This is not worthy NEWS...............

    June 22, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. TomGI

    How can their constituents be sure these representatives WILL actually spend this time with them. Are they suppose to trust them to be honest and do what they say? Maybe instead they will go to Atlantic City for a mini vacation paid for by their PAC or with lobbyists? Do their constituents know they won't. This is what happens when the credibility of leadership is so low you can't trust anything they say. I say Mark, Kathy and Chris all be required to unequivocally prove they are doing what they say and spending time with constituents otherwise they are liars and their electorate deserve to know it.

    June 22, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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