Louisiana Democrat delegiation _lowres

Louisiana's delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Cleveland casts its vote in the presidential nomination roll call on Tuesday, July 26. Members of the delegation included state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, among others visible in the crowd.

The Louisiana Democratic Party has unveiled a draft of its delegate selection plan for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, seeking input from Democrats across the state on how it plans to determine who will represent them when they help determine the next Democratic nominee for president.

The delegate selection plan is the first step state parties make toward picking the delegation to send to Milwaukee, Wisconsin next July. Louisiana has 57 DNC delegate spots and four alternates.

The 45-page working delegate selection plan prioritizes access for historically under‐represented groups, including those based on race, sexual orientation, economic status and disability. It notes that gender non-binary people will not be counted as male or female.

“Developing a plan that prioritizes inclusivity and embraces all of Louisiana was key this year,” LADemos executive director Stephen Handwerk said in a news release Wednesday. “Our goal is to see our delegation reflect and represent Louisiana’s diversity, and I believe this plan is the best first step toward that. While there’s still work to do, we want this process to be as open and transparent as possible.”

The draft selection plan can be viewed on the state party's website, and the public is encouraged to provide feedback.

Delegate and alternate candidate statement forms will be available February 13, 2020. Louisiana’s presidential primary is March 7, 2020.

Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson, a state senator from New Orleans, has also held the role of vice chair of civic engagement and voter participation at the Democratic National Committee.

“In my role with the national party along with serving as state chair, I’m so proud of the work our two organizations have done together to ensure Louisiana is fully represented in 2020,” she said in a statement. “One of the Democratic Party’s central initiatives is equal representation and after seeing my team’s hard work on this plan, I’m confident our delegation from Louisiana will be the most diverse and inclusive delegation yet!”

The Delegate Selection Plan is posted online here, and the public is encouraged to submit feedback here.

Louisiana Democrats at the DNC’s 2016 meeting cheered on the state as one that wouldn't be defined by tragic events like Hurricane Katrina or the deadly officer shooting that rocked Baton Rouge just a week before the gathering in Philadelphia. The rowdy crowd also managed to plug Cajun and Creole cultures, Louisiana's distinct cuisine, hunting traditions and Mardi Gras celebrations.

"We will not be defined by any natural disaster nor will we be defined by any act of senseless violence because we are one Louisiana," Peterson proclaimed during the traditional DNC roll call of states. "Louisiana knows that love trumps hate."

Most of Louisiana delegate votes (45) went to Hillary Clinton, who would go on to win the Democratic nomination and become the first female presidential nominee of a major party (14 went to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had already conceded the race).

Included in the crowd of delegates around the large Louisiana marker were New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu; state Reps. Pat Smith, Denise Marcelle, Ted James and Marcus Hunter; and state Sen. Troy Carter, among others -- nearly all cheering and waving signs. Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is running for re-election this fall, served as a superdelegate to the DNC in 2016 but didn't appear to take a center position during the state's roll call. The party later posted a photo of Edwards casting his ballot for Clinton at the convention.


Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.