The Democratic State Convention is similar to the Democratic National Convention, which occurs during presidential election years – but this is just for New York. For decades, the State Democratic Party conducted nearly all of its official business during these conventions, including determining who would be the Democratic nominee for statewide offices. If you go on NYTimes.com and search the archives for the term “Democratic State Convention,” you’ll find articles going as far back as 1865! Thanks to inventions like the telephone and the Internet, the party is no longer reliant on gathering all members of the Democratic State Committee together in one place to conduct its business. But the convention still plays a central role in Democratic politics – particularly for aspiring candidates.
The delegates for this convention will have a busy several days passing resolutions for the governance of the party on matters ranging from establishing rules to endorsing policies, listening to speeches from prospective candidates, and finally voting to nominate Democratic candidates for the statewide offices of Governor, Comptroller, and Attorney General, and the federal offices of United States Senator. A candidate is not the official Democratic nominee just because he or she wins the vote at the convention. Any candidate who receives 25% of the votes at the convention will still be a candidate in the Democratic primary on September 14. A particularly determined candidate can also go through the petition process to have his or her name added to the ballot. But there is no doubt a strong showing at the convention bodes well for the organizing skill of a campaign.