San Diego

Democratic Delegate Caucuses Yield Hard-Working Prospects

California is five weeks away from the state's presidential primary, but with the focus on the presidential race, it's easy to forget there are some often overlooked and interesting small contests among those jockeying to be delegates at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

On Sunday, dozens won places on the Clinton and Sanders tickets for the state’s June 7th balloting.

The Republican White House candidates file their own slates of proposed delegates in each congressional district, and 10 proposed statewide delegates.

The Democrats held caucuses that turned the wannabe delegates into candidates themselves, doing retail politicking.

One of the top vote-getters on the Clinton side was Poway resident Judy Ki, looking to go to the convention as a Clinton delegate from the 52nd Congressional District.

She sold herself, big-time, to about 300 voters in a Miramar District union hall.

"My margin of victory were my personal friends,” Ki said in an interview Monday. “My hairdresser came out. Some of my neighbors came out."

A long career as a middle school science teacher readied Ki for just the kind of research and presentations that serious politics demands.

“Doing any campaign is logical and sequential. It's like setting up a science experiment," she said. "You do step one, step two, step three, step four, right?"

Ki’s showing at the caucus would seem to make her a lock for Philadelphia in late July -- on her own dime, of course.

Or more accurately, somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000 -- unless she can partner up for a hotel room.

"The (hotel) room is the most expensive. I don't eat a lot and the flights are fine -- I have lots of mileage,” Ki said with a hearty laugh. “But this is so exciting. This is on my bucket list, believe it or not.”

The second-place finisher at the 52nd District Clinton caucus was Jennifer Campbell, a retired physician who lives in Clairemont.

Her family is steeped in Democratic Party politics; her cousin is David Axelrod who served as President Obama’s campaign manager.

"My mother was a great politician in Colorado, and she was one of the first Democrats for (John F.) Kennedy,” Campbell told NBC 7. “And Kennedy used to call my house when I was a kid -- I talked to him on the phone. And it was just marvelous. And I got to go see his acceptance speech in 1960."

Campbell has met Hillary Clinton at Clinton's home in Washington when she was a senator.

She'd seem to be a no-brainer for delegate-picking by Clinton's team if the Democrats went by California GOP rules – but captured more than enough hearts and minds at Sunday’s Miramar District caucus.

“Well, I was thrilled and surprised, but we did work hard and campaigned,” she said. “There were four of us on the team -- two men, two women -- we worked together. And all of our friends and supporters, people who've known us for years in the Democratic Party came out to support us. And it was just wonderful, a wonderful day."

Campbell also appears to be likely to wind up in Philadelphia, and for the sake of her budget, she has relatives there who could spare her a hotel stay.

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