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. Joi Gibson

    For once, it would be nice if the Dems closed ranks like the GOP does. This is partially why the GOP gets away with their nonsense – Dems not being able to stick together and speak with one voice. This presidential election is too important to give the GOP any more ammunition against the President. Well let them cower. I will stand proud and tall in my support for President Obama.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!!

    June 21, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    This has been the way that Democrats have consistently allowed the Rethugs to screw them: by standing pettily, and ridiculously divided. It amazes me that even though, relatively speaking, these Democrats should be standing proud and tall together behind their President based on the fact that the GOP has renamed itself the Party of Do Nothing...
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Speaking of Do Nothing, when are the Democrats in Washington going to pass a budget? I will give you a hint. Never. According to Harry Reid, the debt ceiling is good enough. I guess spend until the card is refused and then go back begging the American taxpayer for more?!?! By the way, The Republican House has passed a budget. At least someone in Washington is doing their job.

    June 21, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. HenryMiller

    Even the Dems are figuring out that Obama is a sort of political contact poison.

    June 21, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Matt

    President Obama did NOT capture West Virginia in 2008.

    June 21, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    @Four and The Door – Speaking of Do Nothing, when are the Democrats in Washington going to pass a budget? I will give you a hint. Never. By the way, The Republican House has passed a budget. At least someone in Washington is doing their job.
    ------------------------–
    Kind of hard to pass a budget when it will be fillibustered/blocked and rejected by the Grand Obstructionist Party in the House! And I'd hardly call the House budget a budget... get real! An unfunded 20% across the board tax cut that will add $1.5 TRILLION to the deficit in the first year?? ... Oh that's right, another meat head excuse to convince yourself that the Teapugs are actually doing anything in DC. They did such a great job with the Senate Farm Bill.. Loaded that up with deficit spending too.. and who's increasing the Debt load? DO a little research bub.. .it AIN'T the Dems..

    June 21, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Len Smith

    As usual the many Democrats that don't plan to attend the convention are out to make sure that the Republicans will win in November. Too bad democrats cannot close ranks behind a fairly good President who has made this country better than what it was 4 years ago, and still has a long way to go.

    June 21, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. chancestrick

    "Although President Barack Obama captured the state with 52.7% of the vote in 2008, it went for former President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and successful Democrats in the state tend to be more conservative."

    I'm confused... is this referring to West Virginia? It sounds like it by the context, but John McCain definitely carried WV in 2008 with nearly 56% of the vote. Some editing needs to be done perhaps?

    June 21, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    President Obama did not win West Virginia in 2008. He won Virginia.

    June 21, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. solex

    There is a simple reason why repubs seem united and the dems don't:

    There are many degrees of altruism

    There is only one degree of GREED

    June 21, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    @Captain Awesome – i don't blame the democrats for abandoning ship. Obama is losing ground quickly especially with the COVER UP scandal of the crimes committed by the administration. What is the president hiding? Holder lied, people died.
    ----------------------–
    Dubya lied. Cheney lied. Bush 41 lied, Reagan lied. They ALL lie !! You can tell a politician is lying – that's because they are talking!. Don't be such a dense moron and think that Obama's support is waning – just cause a few Dems want to save some money and not attend the DNC. Why go when it's a forgone conclusion. Unlike the upcoming 2012 RNC circus..the DNC is likely to be boring.
    In 2004, 2509 delegates and 2344 alternates attended the RNC circus. In 2008, 2380 delegates and 2227 alternate delegates attended – and Dubya DIDN'T EVEN SHOW IN PERSON! Too busy in Crawford – on the tax payer dime, or maybe trying to fix the highest gas prices in history?? This year – who cares!

    June 21, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. independent

    Democrats, staying in their districts and campaigning for their seats and support for the President will help the President, not hurt him, in November.

    June 21, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Veteran For Truth

    HenryMiller: The biggest vat of poison in my lifetime is the GOP. They stand for nothing but hypocrisy.

    They are just trying to stay in office. It is their call. We need term limits, then they won't care so much about making it a career.

    June 21, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. independent

    Keep up the good work Joi!

    June 21, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Manchin is a clone of Sen. Byrd's early days, not the days when Byrd saw the light. Joe is what you would call a southern democrat who now makes up the bagger party.

    June 21, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. bosfaninva

    More importantly, will George W. Bush be skipping the GOP convention?

    June 21, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. erik

    Both sides are terrible options. Write someone in.

    June 21, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    Obama 2012 – MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES
    @Four and The Door – Speaking of Do Nothing, when are the Democrats in Washington going to pass a budget? I will give you a hint. Never. By the way, The Republican House has passed a budget. At least someone in Washington is doing their job.
    --------–
    Kind of hard to pass a budget when it will be fillibustered/blocked and rejected by the Grand Obstructionist Party in the House! And I'd hardly call the House budget a budget... get real! An unfunded 20% across the board tax cut that will add $1.5 TRILLION to the deficit in the first year?? ... Oh that's right, another meat head excuse to convince yourself that the Teapugs are actually doing anything in DC.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________
    Which Democratic budget was it that was ever put up for a vote in The House? There never was one.
    But I'm very proud of the success of the Republican House just in the last 15 months. They forced a $3 trillion spending cut to accompany the debt ceiling increase even though Obama fought it every step of the way. And then what did he do when it was passed? He tried to take credit for it. That was precious.

    June 21, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. rosie

    Seriously, why bother going to a coronation. They could show some fiscal restraint, ..... oh wait they are Democrats. Forget I mentioned it. SIGH.

    June 21, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. mike58

    ya know you just have to laugh sometimes

    June 21, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. carly

    These cowards should be voted out along with the right wing nuts in Congress. We need strong progressive Dems to get things done.

    June 21, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Triple A

    No, Really Mr. President I would love to go but I gotta wash my hair. Dang and I really wanted to go.

    June 21, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The GOP is more closely aligned to the Taliban than the Nazi party.

    June 21, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    They need not attend if that is their preference. It is understandable since they represent swing states. There is no purity test like in the GOP/Tea Party.

    June 21, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Sammy Strong

    President Obama Did'nt win West Virginia in 08. in fact the state has'nt voted Democratic since Bill clinton in 96

    June 21, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. demsrule

    These people should dedicate their time campaigning to keep or get elected. President Obama completely understands this, since he was a U.S. senator. The convention will be fine without them there. The deal with West Virgina...it's hard enough for a democrat to get and hold on to a seat there and Joe Manchin and the President both know this. They understand the "political distancing" that is required sometimes to accomplish this. So, it's all cool for the convention. Everyone will be where they are strategically supposed to be.

    June 21, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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