Posted 3:39pm February 18
by Jane Black
U-WIRE Washington Bureau
Democratic front-runner Sen. John Kerry swept up almost half of the votes in the Washington D.C. caucus on Saturday– victory number 14 out of the 16 Democratic contests held so far to chose the party’s nominee.
The Massachusetts senator received 47 percent of the votes, trailed by the Rev. Al Sharpton at 20 percent, and Howard Dean with 17 percent. Kerry took home nine of the ten delegates up for grabs based on the voting outcome. Six additional delegates are given out by the D.C. Democratic State Committee, for a total of 16. Candidates had to receive at least 15 percent of the votes to collect one delegate.
Sharpton collected four delegates and Dean took home three. Both Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, with 10 percent of the vote, and Rep. Denis Kucinich of Ohio, with 3 percent, did not receive any delegates.
More than 16 percent of D.C. registered voters participated in the primary– double the turnout for the past two presidential primaries. Sharpton was the only candidate who campaigned in D.C. for this primary.
Last month the District had its first non-binding primary; a primary who officials say was to bring attention to D.C.’s lack of congressional voting rights. Dean came in first in the January 13 primary, the first in the nation, back when the former governor was still considered the party’s leading candidate. Kerry and Edwards did not compete in the non-binding race.
“I voted in the Tuesday primary last month, but did not make it out to the polls on Saturday,” said James Fallon, a Southeast D.C. resident. “I just didn’t think it was necessary.”