Nick Balletto, the Democratic state chairman.
Nick Balletto, the Democratic state chairman. mark pazniokas /

On a night when the Democratic presidential race eased to an end, the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders worked together Tuesday to uneventfully conclude Connecticut’s delegate selections for the Democratic National Convention, winning ratification by the party’s state central committee for a final group of 19 delegates.

Scott Bates, a committee member from Stonington, immediately rose and asked permission to send the crowd home with a final thought: “Let’s go forward together and kick Donald Trump’s ass.”

Partisans of both campaigns laughed, then applauded. In a state where Democrats narrowly gave Clinton a win in its presidential primary, it wasn’t a bad way to end a delegate-selection process that turned sour in other states, even as Clinton strengthened her hold on the nomination.

The Associated Press had declared Clinton the presumptive nominee the previous night based on a win in Puerto Rico and superdelegate commitments. On Tuesday night, a victory in New Jersey underscored Clinton’s status.

Nick Balletto, the Connecticut chairman, seemed to relax as the meeting broke up in Hartford and Democrats hurried home to watch results from the last half dozen states with primaries, including California and New Jersey. For the evening, the party moved downstairs from its fourth floor headquarters in an old factory in Hartford to space that recently had been occupied by the Sanders campaign in Connecticut.

“It couldn’t have worked out any greater. I got to tell you everybody in the end, they just sat down and were able to work everything out. The campaigns are very pleased,” Balletto said. “You can’t make everybody happy, but the tone, the way the campaigns ended up was excellent.”

Balletto, a superdelegate pledged early to Clinton, shook hands with Marty Dunleavy, a long-time activist and former Democratic National Committee member who helped coordinate delegate selection for Sanders. The delegates preferred by the campaigns won easily.

In all, 55 delegates were apportioned on the results of the April 26 primary: 28 for Clinton and 27 for Sanders. Three-dozen were chosen in congressional district caucuses a week ago. The final group of 19 selected Tuesday by the state central committee was composed of 12 at-large delegates and seven “pledged PLEOs,” party leaders and elected officials.

The four PLEOs pledged to Clinton are: Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, Ed Camacho of Norwalk, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and state Rep. Patricia Billie Miller of Stamford. The three pledged to Sanders are: state Rep. Edwin Vargas of Hartford, Eloisa Melendez of Norwalk and state Rep. Robyn Porter of New Haven.

The 12 at-large delegates were evenly split.

The six Clinton delegates are: T.J. Clarke, the president of the Hartford City Council, plus Francisco Gonzalez of Greenwich, Susan Barrett of Fairfield, Deputy Comptroller Martha Carlson, Donna King of Norwalk and Carol Goldberg of Bethany. Susan Goldman of Norwich.

The six for Sanders: state Sen. Gary Winfield of New Haven, former UAW leader Phil Wheeler, William Henderson of the Communication Workers of America, Susan Goldman of Norwich, Debra Cohen of Wethersfield and Audrey Blondin of Torrington.

The delegation also will include 16 superdelegates, who include Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the congressional delegation and others. They are not bound by the primary results, though all but one are publicly committed to Clinton.

Connecticut’s final selections for the convention in Philadelphia came on a day when a Quinnipiac University poll showed Clinton leading Trump by only 7 percentage points in a head-to-head matchup in Connecticut. Sanders, who seems to have no path to the nomination, led Trump in the same poll by 19 points.

The following Democrats were elected last week as district-level delegates:

1st Congressional District

Clinton: Greater Hartford Labor Council President Shellye Davis, former U.S. Rep. Barbara Kennelly, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and Mark Ojakian, the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education.

Sanders: UAW political director Bev Brakeman, Angela Parkinson, Daniel Durso and Alan Simon.

2nd Congressional District

Clinton: Deborah Hauser, John Brady and Rodney Butler, the tribal chairman of the Mashantucket Pequots.

Sanders: Talibah Domijan, Denise Gladue, AFSCME political coordinator Brian Anderson and Daryl Finizio, the former mayor of New London.

3rd Congressional District

Clinton: New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, Audrey Tyson, Frank Alvarado and West Haven Mayor Edward O’Brien.

Sanders: Christine Bartlett-Josie, Bonita Yarboro and Eli Markham.

4th Congressional District

Clinton: Mary McBride Lee, Barbara Reynolds, Bridgeport Democratic Chairman Mario Testa, and state Rep. William Tong of Stamford.

Sanders: Luis Magana, Christopher Yerinides and Nina Sherwood.

5th Congressional District

Clinton: Deborah D’Agostino, UAW leader Julie Kushner and Nate Brown, the political director of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 478.

Sanders: Mercedes Alonzo, Lennine Lupo, Robert Berriault and Justin Molito.

As originally posted, this story incorrectly listed Susan Goldman as a Clinton delegate and Carol Goldberg as a Sanders delegate.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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