Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Puerto Rico Dems working hard for Obama

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

The following is a guest post from Kenneth D. McClintock, President of the Senate, Puerto Rico

LORAIN, OHIO-Normally, once the Democratic National Convention presidential nomination roll call ends, the confetti is swept away and the hoopla subsides, Puerto Rico's electoral role is over, due to the fact that American citizens residing in the territories lack the right to vote in November. This time around, however, we're just getting started.

Democratic State Chair Roberto Prats and I, as co-chairs of Hillary Clinton's successful primary campaign in Puerto Rico, had made the commitment that, regardless of who finally became the nominee, we'd be out on the road to help capture the mainland Puerto Rican vote---and as U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans in the states do vote.

Two weeks after the convention ended, while in Ohio for a Hispanic Heritage Month speaking engagement, I joined Hillary Clinton's campaign for Barack Obama and Joe Biden's election, speaking at a rally at Lorain County Community College. Lorain, Ohio is the city with the highest percentage of Puerto Ricans in its population in the nation, outside of Puerto Rico. They came here in large numbers in the '40's and '50's attracted by jobs in the steel mills and stayed and made their lives here. Their concerns---jobs and pensions---are the concerns of all their fellow citizens, and the concerns that their Congresswoman, Betty Sutton, a labor lawyer, as well as Hillary Clinton addressed at the rally.

For Democrats in Puerto Rico, campaigning in Ohio took on an added meaning this year, as we helped fill the void left by the passing of an Ohioan who three months before enthusiastically joined our primary campaign for a week in Puerto Rico, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

Significant numbers of Puerto Rican voters can be found in three battleground states---Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania---and Democratic leaders from Puerto Rico will be there to help assure those states' electoral votes for Obama in November.

Kenneth D. McClintock
President of the Senate
Puerto Rico