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It's Convention Season!

What is a political convention?

In Connecticut, state and district political conventions are gatherings organized by the Democratic party to conduct various party-related business, including nominating candidates for elected offices, adopting party platforms, and setting party rules. These conventions are crucial events within the democratic process and play a significant role in shaping the direction of the Democratic party.

Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz with a Win Belu-Jon
Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz with a Win Belu-Jon


State conventions are held at the statewide level and typically involve delegates from across the entire state. They are responsible for nominating candidates for statewide offices such as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Comptroller. State conventions also serve as forums for discussing and adopting the party's platform and rules.


District conventions, on the other hand, are organized within specific congressional districts or other designated geographic regions. Delegates representing the districts participate in these conventions to nominate candidates for congressional seats, state legislative positions, and other local offices specific to their district. District conventions may also address issues pertinent to the district and make recommendations for Democratic party actions at the local level.


Both state and district conventions are typically held periodically, often in election years or as needed based on party bylaws. They provide opportunities for party members, delegates, elected officials, and activists to come together, discuss important issues, and make decisions that impact the party's future and its candidates' electoral prospects.


People voting at a meeting



One question we are often asked is "So how are candidates different from delegates?"


In the realm of local politics, the terms "candidate" and "delegate" refer to distinct roles and responsibilities within the electoral process.


  1. Candidate: A candidate is an individual who seeks election to a specific political office. This could range from positions on the Board of Selectmen, Fire Commission, or State Representative. Candidates typically campaign for their desired position, outlining their platform, qualifications, and vision for the community. Typically, candidates will do so with the help of their local Democratic Town Committee. If successful in their campaign, they become elected officials and assume the duties of the office they were elected to.

  2. Delegate: A delegate, on the other hand, is a representative chosen to attend a convention, caucus, or other political gathering on behalf of a larger group of voters. In local politics, delegates often play a role in nominating candidates for higher office, such as district, state, or national positions. These delegates may be elected or appointed by their local party organizations to represent their constituents' interests and preferences at the nominating event.


To put it simply, a candidate seeks election to a specific office, while a delegate represents a group of voters in the selection of candidates for higher-level political positions. Both roles are integral to the democratic process, with candidates offering themselves for public service and delegates helping to shape the direction of their party's nominations.


In Connecticut, being selected as a delegate for a state or district convention is an important role within the political process, particularly within the Democratic party. Delegates are chosen to represent their local constituencies at these conventions, where key decisions are made about the party's platform, candidate endorsements, and other party matters.


Smiling people at Democratic Convention
North Haven DTC Delegates at the State Convention with Chris Murphy


Here's what it means to be selected as a delegate and the typical duties associated with the role:


  1. Representation: Delegates serve as representatives of their precinct, district, or other designated constituency. They are entrusted with the responsibility of voicing the interests, concerns, and preferences of the voters who elected them.

  2. Participation in Conventions: Delegates attend state or district conventions, which are gatherings of party members to discuss and decide on various matters, including candidate endorsements, party rules, and platform resolutions.

  3. Voting: Delegates have the privilege of voting on important issues and decisions during the convention. This includes voting for candidates to represent the party in upcoming elections, as well as voting on party rules and platform planks.

  4. Advocacy: Delegates often engage in advocacy efforts on behalf of their constituents, promoting specific candidates or policies that align with the interests of their community. They may also participate in discussions and debates during the convention to influence the direction of the party.

  5. Networking and Collaboration: Conventions provide delegates with opportunities to network with other party members, elected officials, and political activists. They can collaborate with like-minded individuals to advance shared goals and priorities.

  6. Information Sharing: Delegates are responsible for keeping their constituents informed about the proceedings and outcomes of the convention. This may involve providing updates, summaries, or reports on key decisions made during the event.


Overall, being selected as a delegate for a state or district convention is a significant responsibility that involves representing one's community, participating in the democratic process, and helping to shape the future direction of the political party. It requires dedication, engagement, and a commitment to serving the interests of the constituents who entrusted them with their vote.


We have a number of conventions that will apply to North Haven politics in the year 2024.  As such, we need engaged individuals to participate.  If interested in serving as a delegate, reach out to


Key convention dates are as follows:

  • 3/26-4/2: Selection of delegates to state and district conventions at a DTC Mtg.

  • 4/16-4/26: Window to elect state Central Members

  • 5/1: Caucuses in each Congressional District to select district-level delegates

  • 5/11: State Convention- Murphy, DNC, Presidential Electors

  • 5/13: Congressional Conventions

  • 5/14: State Senate


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