NORWALK, Conn. — A group of Bernie Sanders supporters who gathered at the Silver Star Diner in Norwalk are vowing to back their candidate until the Democratic Party officially picks its presidential candidate.
About 35 people turned out for a meeting of Democracy for America last week, many of them young and new to the group. Organizer Nina Sherwood of Stamford has been something of a Pied Piper, bringing many of them together. Sherwood has been backing Sanders since last summer — working phone banks in Stamford, traveling to New Hampshire and Massachusetts to campaign, and planning to spend weekends knocking on doors in New Jersey before the primary there.
As participants joined in, they offered comments such as, “The first real campaign I’ve been involved in” ... “I’ve been a strong Bernie supporter from the very beginning” ... “Bernie inspired me.”
One woman in New Canaan said she felt like the only Sanders supporter in town. Another woman said she “saw Bernie hold everyone’s attention for an hour in New Haven” when he campaigned before the Connecticut primary last month.
Middletown Mayor Dan Drew spoke to the group about social justice. Doug Sutherland from Trumbull read a letter from Jim Dean, Howard’s brother and the national head of Democracy for America.
Then Sherwood took the floor. ”You showed up for Bernie because he’s inspired something in this society … You keep me going … We can’t stop.”
Sherwood said she would keep her focus on getting Sanders elected, then talked about "doing what needs to be done to keep Bernie in the race until he’s not the candidate.”
If Bernie is not the candidate, “Hillary has to earn my vote,” Sherwood said.
Sanders is waging a battle over super delegates — and Sherwood talked about working to turn the Clinton super delegates in states won by Sanders. Sherwood also hopes Sanders will push Clinton to the left at the Democratic Convention this summer, and she wants to see what Sanders' role will be in the general election.
But Sherwood also said she’s a realist. If it’s Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton in November, she will vote for the Democrat.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.