May 18, 2008

Dear Fellow Democrat,

I am writing you today to let you know that I will be supporting Sen. Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

For the past many months, as a superdelegate, I have remained neutral in this historic contest. As Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, it has been my job to represent all Democrats throughout Washington state as we navigated our way through the delegate selection process. It was of utmost importance to me that all Democrats had confidence that the Party Chair and all the party staff were working to ensure that grassroots Democrats statewide would decide how many delegates each candidate would receive.

Beginning with our historic caucuses on February 9th, and at each step throughout this process – Precinct, Legislative District, County, and Congressional District – we were determining how many delegates would be allocated to each Presidential candidate. Yesterday, that process was completed with our Congressional District Caucuses – the final opportunity for a candidate to gain or lose delegates based on turnout. (The remaining delegates to be allocated in Spokane will be apportioned in identical ratios as emerged from yesterday's caucuses.)

It is because we have essentially concluded the question of how many of our state’s delegates Obama and Clinton will receive in Denver that I feel I can now announce my preference to be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

I will be supporting Barack Obama for many reasons. Over the last few years, I have gained a profound respect for Sen. Obama. I have read his books, listened to his speeches, and watched the campaign he has run on the grueling modern presidential playing-field for nearly two years. And I have spoken with literally hundreds of friends and colleagues – both in and out of politics – regarding their opinions and observations of this man. And I have concluded that Barack Obama is ready to be a great American President.

Barack Obama can win this election, and has clearly energized a generation of voters that hunger for change, helping inspire a critical voting block for Democrats for the future. He has also inspired independent voters and even some Republicans who have never considered voting Democratic.

I’m confident that between now and November, Americans will compare the inspiring vision, strong values, and energy for change embodied by Barack Obama with the tired old recycled ideas of Bush Republicanism embodied by the militaristic and fiercely-conservative John McCain – and they will vote to place Barack Obama in the White House.

Through this campaign, I have gained an enormous respect for Hillary Clinton. This country and this party are unquestionably far stronger for the contributions she’s made throughout this campaign, and throughout her long career in public service. I will be eternally grateful for Sen. Clinton’s appearance at our awards dinner last year, as she was warmly welcomed by Washington State Democrats, and for the time she has spent campaigning in Washington state. I have no doubt that Sen. Clinton would be a tough, thoughtful, intelligent, compassionate, and supremely-prepared President of the United States.

At this point in time, however, I feel the voters have spoken, that Sen. Obama will be our nominee, and that is time for us as Democrats to begin the final stretch of this historic 2008 campaign to take back America.  It is time to unify our party around one candidate.

I thank the thousands of people who have contacted me asking me to support their candidate; and I profoundly acknowledge the supporters of Sen. Clinton who may be disappointed by my decision.

I am honored to serve as Chair of your Washington State Democratic Party.


Dwight Pelz