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Thousands turn out for county convention

Posted: 4:44 PM, Apr 02, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-05 05:44:02Z

Bernie Sanders won an upset victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during Saturday's Clark County Democratic Convention, giving the Vermont senator a better chance of securing more national delegates after losing the state's February caucuses.

Thousands of Democrats packed the Cashman Center for the party's county convention -- the next step after February's presidential caucus in determining Nevada's 43 delegates to the national Democratic Convention in July.

Although Clinton won the state's caucuses in February, the state Democratic Party only allocated 23 delegates tied to those results. The remaining 12 delegates will be determined proportionally based on the number of candidate supporters selected to attend the state convention in May, with eight so-called "super delegates" free to support whomever they choose.

Sanders supporters outnumbered Clinton delegates by around 600 on Saturday, which means they'll make up a larger percentage of Clark County's delegates attending the state convention in May, despite Clinton's February victory in the county.

Sanders climbed from 20-15 delegate deficit to a likely 18-17 deficit. But that won't be set in stone until the state convention next month.

"This means we won Nevada," said Sanders' Nevada State Director Joan Kato.

But it remains to be seen how much of an impact Saturday's results will have at the state convention, as results of other county conventions continue to roll in and the total number of delegates for each campaign attending the state convention is still unknown.

Clinton also has a four-to-one Nevada superdelegate advantage over Sanders.

2,964 total delegates appeared for Sanders, and 2,386 came for Clinton on Saturday. The former Secretary of State won 4,889 total county delegates in February, but less than half that number appeared for the county convention allowing the Sanders campaign to take a majority of the delegates.

Supporters of both campaigns waited in line for hours on Saturday in order to register as county convention delegates, with the results only announced several hours into the convention.

"It's an order of kind of silly steps, but at the end of the day it's what actually gets people elected," said delegate Thomas May.

The state Democratic convention will take place in Las Vegas on May 14 and 15. The national Democratic convention will be held in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28.