In a county where the amount of registered Democrats and Republicans are nearly equal, Susan DeMetrick is looking to tip the district to a progressive blue, starting at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
DeMetrick is one of five elected delegates who will descend on the city this week from Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.
A pledged delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders, DeMetrick, who is an elementary school librarian at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School, will continue to support Sanders.
“I will stand by him, and I will follow his lead,” DeMetrick said.
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A Massachusetts native, DeMetrick grew up in a liberally progressive household. She became politically active with her husband during President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
DeMetrick said Sanders appeals to her because she identifies with his platform and ideologies, especially pertaining to climate change, minimum wage and affordable health care.
This will be DeMetrick’s first time as a delegate.
“I’m going in not knowing what to expect,” she said. “... I’m looking forward to being very busy and very tired.”
Her husband, Gregory, is attending the convention as well.
“I’m just the driver,” he said.
While both husband and wife applied to be delegates, it was Susan DeMetrick who made the final cut.
“We’ve been talking about this for months now. I helped (Susan) out with the petitions, walking from door to door,” her husband said.
Despite this being her first time as a delegate at a convention, she intends to jump in and serve as an active participant. DeMetrick said she plans to attend various caucuses, including ones focusing on climate issues.
“We need to have an environment for our children and our children’s children,” DeMetrick said. She said she is eager to hear suggestions and learn about what she can do to create a more progressive Centre County.
Though she is a pledged delegate for Sanders, and intends on fulfilling her commitment — one that she was elected by constituents to do — she will support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if Sanders unbinds her vote.
“As a Democrat, we all need to come together, and we all need to vote blue up and down the ticket in November,” she said. “I think it’s very important we support whoever is on the ballot.”
Louis William Finley is a journalism student at Temple. He is covering the Democratic National Convention for the CDT.