When he’s not number crunching at his day job in the finance industry, Greg Stewart dedicates his life to politics, playing a key part in helping this year’s delegates get to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Though he is not a delegate this time around, this will be the Centre County Democratic Committee chairman’s third convention.
With the convention underway, and the anticipation of Hillary Clinton being officially nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, the undercurrent of divisiveness within the party after a long campaign battle does not faze Stewart. “We always have internal fights in the primaries, but I think everybody is going to come together for the polls,” he said.
Stewart doesn’t think the content of the leaked emails last week from the DNC is a true reflection of the party. “People campaign,” said Stewart. “Sometimes staff members say things that they shouldn’t say. Why they say them is unbeknownst to me.”
In addition to his role in getting people out to vote during the primary election, Stewart made sure that campaigns for both Clinton and Bernie Sanders were treated equally, having an open-door policy for both campaigns at the headquarters in regard to open workspace and available manpower.
For presidential campaigns, Stewart also finds what he calls, “quality delegates,” those who have experience volunteering for the Centre County Democratic Committee. He has reached out to both campaigns and recommended people based on their volunteer work and resumes.
To make sure those wanting to serve Centre County at the convention could get the required number of signatures to be placed on the ballot to become a delegate, Stewart made a suggestion: Volunteers for one potential delegate could also carry the other delegate’s petition. “We had Bernie supporters carrying Hillary petitions, and we had Hillary’s people carrying Bernie’s people,” Stewart said.
Sean Miller, a member the executive committee for the Centre County Democratic Committe,e said, “Greg was able to show (voters) why it’s important to get involved, and not stand on the sidelines.”
“Greg’s not a guy to jump up on a table and hoot and holler,” said Miller. “Through his actions and experience, he’s able to get motivated … He’s just a great guy who wants the best for his children, and I think that inspires people.”
Though there were a lot of contenders to become delegates, but due to a competitive process and party requirements for state delegations, qualified candidates were turned away. “I know a lot of friends who did not get in,” Stewart said. “(The state delegation) has to be half men, half women. They want young people, they want seniors.”
A total of five delegates from Centre County are at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week.
Louis William Finley is a journalism student at Temple. He is covering the Democratic National Convention for the CDT.