Lewisboro sends delegate to Democratic National Convention

Although it seems to have been a half-lifetime in the making, the Democratic and Republican parties are finally nearing the dates for officially selecting their presidential and vice-presidential nominees and hammering out their platforms at their respective conventions.

Republicans will go first, July 18-21 in Cleveland. Democrats will follow July 25-28 in Philadelphia.

Lewisboro will be represented at the Democratic Convention by Christina Rae, co-chair of the Lewisboro Democratic Committee. Rae has served as co-chair for more than a decade along with Alan Coles and is a lifelong Lewisboro resident.

Christina Rae, co-chair of the Lewisboro Democratic Committee will be attending the Democratic National Convention in July. — Courtesy of Christina Rae

Christina Rae, co-chair of the Lewisboro Democratic Committee will be attending the Democratic National Convention in July. — Courtesy of Christina Rae

“Like the other pledged delegates, I am pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton on the first ballot and if it goes on to a second or third ballot I will continue to support her,” Rae told the Ledger on Sunday.  “I have every hope that Hillary will become president and will continue to do anything in my power to achieve this.”

Beginnings

Rae was raised in Lewisboro, living here since the age of two. She attended private schools, first Rippowam Cisqua and then the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Vassar College in 1993 and later studied art, a lifelong passion, at SUNY Purchase.

“After college I returned to my hometown, working part-time in historical research, first at the John Jay Homestead and since 2001 for the Bedford Town Historian. In my free time I paint and am contacting the Ledger today from Monghegan Island in Maine, a uniquely beautiful spot that has been known since the late 19th century as ‘the artist’s island,’” she said.

Rae said her interest in politics had its beginning with her family, parents Linda and Noel and brother Alex.

“We often discussed both current and historical affairs,” she said. “My grandfather, William L. Shirer, had written several works of history, including The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich, and my father writes about American history.”

In addition Rae said Vassar was a very “politically engaged” campus when she was there, although at that time her interest were geared more toward the international than the domestic and she became deeply involved in Amnesty International.

“This heightened my awareness of oppression and discrimination worldwide and of marginalization here at home,” she said. “The first campaign I worked on was for Dr. Richard Klein, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1996 and, 10 years later, I was heavily involved in John Hall’s campaign.”

Representing Lewisboro

Rae joined the Lewisboro Democratic Committee in 1988 and has worked tirelessly to help Democrats win election to office. Overall, Democrats have made significant gains in the past years in a town that was once solidly Republican. Democrats now hold a small but solid edge in voter registration and have a three-term Democratic Town Supervisor, Peter Parsons, in the Town House.

In order to gain her position as a delegate, Rae was first nominated by Reggie Lafayette, chair of the Westchester County Democratic Committee.

“I was then responsible for collecting more than 400 signatures to put Hillary on the ballot with myself as delegate,” she said. “With the help of fellow Democrats who helped me carry these petitions, I submitted more than the required number of signatures. I appeared on the ballot in the Democratic Presidential Primary as a potential pledged delegate for Hillary. The final allotment of pledged delegates was made by the State Committee according to the presidential candidates’ margin of victory in the congressional district.”

Rae said Clinton won Lewisboro’s 18th Congressional District by a slight margin, but that her own margin of victory as the top vote-getter in Lewisboro and the Westchester portion of the 18th, CD, along with other factors, such as race and gender, led to her selection.

Excited to go

Rae said this is her first convention and she was excited to be going.

“I am not yet familiar with the format and am learning about it at the present time,” she told the Ledger.  “Of course, the primary purpose is to nominate the Democratic candidates for president and vice president but we will also adopt a platform that will function as the blueprint of our party’s positions on a wide range of issues.”

Rae will be in Philadelphia for four days, staying at the Loew’s Downtown Hotel and plans to attend a good number of meetings, councils, roundtables and forums as well as spend time on the floor where votes will take place.

“I can tell you that I am excited and very honored to be attending as a pledged delegate for Hillary Clinton,” she said. “Hillary is smart, experienced and abundantly qualified for this position. The presumptive Republican nominee would, in my view, essentially destroy our democracy so I view this as an extremely important election that Democrats must win.”

About author
Jane K. Dove is an independent journalist and publicist working in the tri-state area. A native of Chicago, she is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and honed her skills as a writer working as associate director of public affairs at New York Medical College. She has reported for the Ledger for three decades.

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