By Corey Williams, Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) – Most of Michigan’s superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention are backing Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Nine of the state’s 17 superdelegates told The Associated Press over the past two weeks that they would vote for Clinton over former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley or U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at the party’s convention next summer.
Three of the delegates were uncommitted, and the AP was unable to learn the choices of five others.
“I think she has the temperament, experience … and overall, she aligns with my beliefs,” U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence said of Clinton. “When I look at Hillary Clinton and the two gentlemen who are in the race, there is no comparison in their command of the issues, no comparison when it comes to the resume, the experience. She has been tried and proven.”
Lawrence and the other superdelegates can support the candidate of their choice, regardless of what happens in the primaries and caucuses. Their 712 votes at the convention make up about 30 percent of the 2,382 delegates needed for a candidate to clinch the Democratic nomination.
Nationally, AP reporters reached out to all 712 superdelegates and heard back from 80 percent. Clinton topped the responses with 359, followed by Sanders with eight and O’Malley with 2; 210 were uncommitted.
Among the superdelegates who said they’d back Clinton are U.S. Reps. Sander Levin, Dan Kildee and Debbie Dingell; U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow; and former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, in addition to Lawrence.
“Given her experience in the U.S. Senate, coupled with the outstanding service she performed as secretary of state — she’s earned my support,” Archer said. “I think she’s got the vision, experience, the sensitivity, the knowledge and the desire to be an outstanding president.
“And the fact that she would also — when elected — be the first woman president, it is an enormous opportunity for her to make a huge statement on behalf of all the women in the world.”
But Virgie Rollins, chair of the convention’s Black Caucus, has yet to commit to a candidate. Her early support would have gone to Vice President Joe Biden if he had decided to seek the nomination, Rollins said.
Rollins said she will support whichever candidate is nominated by the Black Caucus.
“A lot of the members in my caucus — some are with Hillary, some are with Martin O’Malley,” Rollins said. “A lot are with Bernie Sanders. I still would look very closely at O’Malley. He’s very presidential. He’s very smart. He did a great job as the governor of Maryland. I think a lot of people are kind of looking at him to see if his numbers are going to come up.”
Michigan’s superdelegates appear little concerned about any of the Republican candidates.
“The Republicans are out of touch with where families are,” Peters said. “They are spending all their time with personal attacks and nasty debates as opposed to talking about issues that matter for people.”
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