Delaware County Dems to send 3 to convention

By Brandon Klein -

The Delaware County Democratic Party had a small historical moment with its number of delegates making the eight-hour trip to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

“For the first time ever, there will be three delegates from Delaware County attending the Democratic National Convention,” said Ed Helevy, chairman of the Delaware County Democratic Party.

Helevy, who was a delegate in the 1996 convention, said only two people at most from the county have attended previous conventions in the past.

Two of the delegates are pledged to Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton with the other pledged to her primary challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The Republican National Convention in Cleveland is now in its fourth and final day.

Clinton won 81 delegates in the Ohio primary with with 56.9 percent of the vote, while Sanders won 62 delegates, according to the Associated Press.

Sanders endorsed Clinton last week.

“This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, or any other candidate who sought the presidency,” Sanders said at rally in New Hampshire on July 12. “This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face.”

Kelly Harrop of Delaware and Spencer Dirrig of Powell will travel to Philadelphia on Sunday to cast their ballots for Clinton at the convention, which runs Monday through Thursday. The two go against the grain of their demographics. Sanders’ campaign generated more than $200 million with the help of college students, independents and white voters that resonated with his anti-establishment message.

Harrop, 20, and Dirrig, 19, are both college students at Ohio State University. Harrop is majoring in political science with a minor in German, while Dirrig is majoring in political science and economics.

Not only will this year be their first time nominating a presidential candidate at a convention but their first time voting in a presidential election.

The two were elected as Clinton-pledged delegates out of 30 candidates in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, according to Harrop.

Their enthusiasm as young Democrats in Delaware County — which is predominantly Republican — resonated with the party, she said.

“It’s quite the honor to be elected,” Harrop said. “I think we’re ready to unite both sides of the party and take down Trump.”

Dirrig has been a supporter of Clinton since he was 11 years old when he volunteered for her 2008 presidential campaign before she forfeited in the primaries to President Barack Obama. Dirrig is now working on a state senate race in Franklin County.

“And I’ll have the honor of nominating our first female president,” he said. “This is an election unlike any other.”

Harrop and Dirrig have started a blog together to document their time in Philadelphia at

And Jason Edwards of Lewis Center, who’s pledged to Sanders, could not be reached for comment.

By Brandon Klein

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.