OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A majority of Washington state's 17 Democratic superdelegates support Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, while the rest say they will remain unpledged until after the state's caucuses next year.
Superdelegates are delegates to the Democratic National Convention who can support the candidate of their choice, regardless of what happens in the primaries and caucuses. They are members of Congress and other elected officials, party leaders and members of the Democratic National Committee. With 712 votes at the convention next summer, superdelegates make up about 30 percent of the 2,382 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination.
Associated Press reporters reached out to all 712 superdelegates nationally during the past two weeks, and heard back from more than 80 percent of them. The delegates were asked which candidate they plan to support at the convention next summer.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: 8.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley: 2.
Here's the breakdown in Washington state:
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell
U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene: DelBene said that Clinton shares the priorities of Washington's 1st Congressional District, "things like equal pay for equal work, early childhood education, nutrition assistance, access to affordable college and comprehensive immigration reform."
"She is a proven, effective leader who I think voters will support next year," DelBene wrote in an email.
U.S. Rep. Denny Heck: Heck said that after watching all of the Democratic candidates for a while, he decided on Clinton following a meeting where she gave the "single best speech I've ever heard calling for strong growth, fair growth and long-term growth."
"That's what I care about, that's what caused me to run," Heck said in an interview.
Gov. Jay Inslee: Inslee wrote that Clinton has "both the vision and tenacity to lead our nation.
"Her values are Washington State's values - a commitment to opportunity for working families, equality for all, clean air for our children and reversing economic inequity."
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen: Larsen wrote in an email that he and Clinton "share the belief that we need an economy that includes everyone and works for everyone."
U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott
U.S. Rep. Adam Smith
All Washington state members of the Democratic National Committee reached by the AP said that they feel it's their duty to remain unpledged until, at the earliest, after the state's Democratic precinct caucuses on March 26.
State Democratic Party Chairman Jaxon Ravens said he's not committing to a candidate yet "out of respect to all of our great Democratic nominees."
"Like all Democrats in Washington, I look forward to participating in Washington's Democratic caucus next year on March 26th. I will make my decision public shortly after the precinct caucus," Ravens wrote in an email.
Valerie Brady Rongey
DNC member Rion Ramirez did not respond to email and phone messages.
AP Correspondent Nicholas K. Geranios contributed from Spokane, Washington.