CONVENTION COVERAGE: DEMOCRATS MOVE TO AVOID ‘MARATHON’ CONVENTION

Democratic officials in charge of the process and agenda for the state nominating convention that opens tonight are furiously trying to find ways to shorten the nominating and endorsing procedures.

One official who has been involved in state politics for more than 25 years says he can’t remember a convention in which there were so many contested seats and therefore so many speeches and votes. As late as last night, officials were meeting to figure out a way to avoid having the convention go all through the night into the next morning. Such marathon sessions are fairly common in the legislature but not for the conventions.

Democrats have contests for governor, lt. governor, secretary of state, comptroller, and possibly attorney general. Each roll call vote can take between 1 ½ to 2 hours to get through. Even if everything goes smoothly with no glitches, short nominating speeches
and only one roll voter per office, they’re looking at a past midnight ending. The chances of going all night and into the morning are very real.

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Just like an actual election day, both Republican and Democratic candidates are working hard right up to the conventions to build support. The Shad’s e-mail box has been full all day with candidates getting in last minute pitches and endorsements. Particularly busy is Republican US Senate candidate Rob Simmons who has sent out close to a dozen e-mails announcing various things and continuing to get all he can from the military service controversy that has enveloped rival and likely Democratic nominee for US Senate Richard Blumenthal. Just as Linda McMahon did to him, Simmons seems to be looking past McMahon and attacking Blumenthal.

As far as dueling conventions are concerned, the Republicans have an advantage in that they are holding their event at the convention center with hotel rooms available. The Democrats are at the expo center which means getting a quick nap in your car.