Delegate Elections: Progressive activists rout Skinner/Wicks slate in AD15; Bonta’s picks win big in AD18

Volunteers in the 18th Assembly District count ballots for Sunday's Delegate Elections at the College of Alameda. More than 1,100 registered Democrats voted in the elections for delegates at the state convention.

A slate of candidates backed by State Sen. Nancy Skinner and freshman 15th District Assemblymember Buffy Wicks was almost entirely turned away by voters in Saturday’s district elections for delegates to the California Democratic Party Convention. The same type of rout bedeviled Assemblymember Rob Bonta two years ago when his slate of candidates was swept by progressive activists in the 18th District. This time around, Bonta’s slate was triumphant at delegate elections Sunday in Alameda.

Skinner and Wicks’ slate of seven men and women was turned away by a progressive activist avalanche in the 15th District that Wicks was able to avoid during her election to the Assembly last November against Social Democrat Jovanka Beckles.

Among Skinner and Wicks’ slate, only Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb was able to gain a delegate slot at the California Democratic Party Convention.

In January 2017, a group of Berniecrats in Bonta’s 18th Assembly District, similar to the group last weekend who defeated Skinner and Wicks’ slate, was able to win all 14 seats despite the popular assemblymember’s efforts. The results, also seen around the state two years ago, illustrated the growing divide between establishment Democrats and grassroots activists energized by the progressive presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

On Sunday, Bonta rebounded, with his “Unity” slate winning 10 of 14 delegate seats in an election that included more than 1,100 Democratic voters. Fueled by dueling barbecues lunches distributed by the slate backed by Bonta and a group of activists calling themselves “Unbossed East Bay,” vote-counting ended around 7 p.m. Sunday at the College of Alameda.

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