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Washington delegates work out the Clinton-Sanders tension

Don't count on Charles Adkins, a Sanders delegate from Everett, to get on the Clinton train just yet.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde
Don't count on Charles Adkins, a Sanders delegate from Everett, to get on the Clinton train just yet.

Washington state delegates are split into two camps in Philadelphia this week at the Democratic National Convention.

Nearly three quarters of our state’s delegates are Bernie Sanders supporters. The rest back Hillary Clinton. 

So you’d expect some tension.

Some of that was in evidence on a boat cruise Sunday night that was meant to help unify the delegation.

The Sanders supporters are upset about leaked emails that seemed to show the Democratic National Committee is biased against their candidate.

After those emails came out, DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced that she’s resigning.

But one Sanders delegate from Washington state said that’s really just a Band-Aid. 

The other issue is the vice president. They’re also not happy that Clinton picked a moderate like Tim Kaine. 

“I’m very disappointed by his votes. His record is rather lackluster,” said Charles Adkins, vice chair of the Washington State High School Democrats.

“I don’t feel that he’s a progressive fighter. And not just that – we have plenty of other opportunities for building diversity in the party rather than just an old white guy.”

Sanders delegates say they want to push the party and the country in a more progressive direction.

So nothing personal against Tim Kaine, but he’s a moderate, so it’s a disappointment say Sanders supporters.

On the other side, Clinton delegates have a much different take on how much she’s done to try work with Sanders and his supporters.

“I see her compromising – I do. But I don’t think that it’s ever going to be enough, I really don’t,” said Germaine Kornegay of Sedro Wooley. “And right now we need to look at this bigger picture.”

And what’s that?

“Trump. Trump appointing Supreme Court justices.”

In the name of unity, Gov. Jay Inslee tried a little gallows humor about the cruise boat, the Spirit of Philadelphia.

"And I think when you think about the spirit of Philadelphia, I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said, 'We're going to hang together or we're going to hang separately,'” Inslee said. “In the next four days let's make darn sure that we hang together and defeat Donald Trump."

On Monday night, Democrats will hear from a couple of speakers who might be able to do some unifying: Sanders and first lady Michele Obama.

Sanders has already endorsed Clinton, who’ll be the party nominee. That’s unlike the Ted Cruz drama from last week at the Republican convention in Cleveland. 

He’ll be trying to unite Democrats, while keeping the pressure on for the things he believes in. 

KUOW is in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. Do you have convention questions? Email us at

Year started with KUOW: 2004
Year started with KUOW: 2015