Nearly 200 supporters of Rep. Morris Udall (D-Ariz.) gathered Sunday in the dilapidated and dimly lit auditorium of Rindge Tech in one of the 132 caucuses designed to elect delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer.
State Rep. Barney Frank of Boston ran the caucus, constantly imploring the participants to sit down and be quiet, because there was no sound system.
Before any voting occured, Frank read the cumbersome caucus rules, designed to ensure than anyone could become a delegate. Even the registration fee was waived, although Frank encouraged people to donate money to cover costs.
To be elected, a candidate for delegate had to receive one more vote than 50 per cent of those present and voting.
In keeping with the affirmative action policies of the Democratic State Committee, which call for more representation of youth, women, native Americans, blacks and Spanish-speaking people, the first delegates to be elected were women.
Six ran for the three woman delegate spots. Each made a two minute speech.
One of the winners, Lorraine DeFronzo, a schoolteacher from Boston, endorsed Mo Udall in her speech. "I called my father, who gives me political advice, and asked him about Udall," DeFronzo said.
'A Good Man'
"He told me he was a good man, so I felt confident in supporting him," DeFronzo said.
Elaine Kistiakowsky, wife of George B. Kistiakowsky, Lawrence Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, took the third delegate position in the second ballot.
Nine people ran for the three spots for male delegate, including Hale Champion, vice-president for financial affairs. During his speech, Champion said that he had been in the Democratic Party for 30 years, and had been a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1960 and 1964.
Calling Udall the "most honest, direct, responsible liberal in the race," Champion said he endorsed Udall three months ago. Champion also talked about his past jobs, but neglected any mention of his affiliation with Harvard.
Champion said that he did not go to the caucus with the intention to run for delegate. "I just looked around and got into the spirit of the enterprise," Champion said last night.
When asked why he did not mention Harvard, Champion said, "Obviously, it didn't have anything to do with what was going on, and some people don't like it."