Virtual convention presents firsts for Louisiana veteran and rookie delegates alike

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 2:58 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The Democratic National Convention is underway and delegates are glued to their screens. The Louisiana delegation is coping with the unique and historic circumstances. Louisiana’s Democratic delegates say they are relishing the opportunity to participate even if the festivities are happening from afar.

“We may lose a little of that excitement. But we’re going to try our best to still have fun,” said Bishop Rodney McFarland from the Greater Free Gift Baptist Church of Monroe, Louisiana.

McFarland should be in Milwaukee this week. The three-time delegate with distinctive style is coming to terms with the fact that this year’s convention will be a lot like him - unique.

“Some of us are going to have house parties with just a few friends and family members,” said McFarland.

It is of course a different party than usual because of the pandemic, but McFarland says it will yield the same results: a boost of energy ahead of the 2020 general election.

“We going to show the nation that the Democrats are there for them,” said McFarland.

The veteran delegate says he feels for first-time delegates like Alicia Calvin who’s having to participate virtually.

“Obviously the first choice is to be there to feel the energy in person, you know do the big call with the delegation,” said Calvin.

The former candidate for state representative attended the 2016 convention, but this is her first in an official capacity. While there is disappointment, Calvin recognizes there will be future conventions, and she says her first delegate experience will be a memorable one.

“This is the first time it’s ever happened this way, so, you know, we’re all a part of history,” said Calvin.

The DNC comes to a close on Thursday this week when Vice President Joe Biden is expected to officially become the Democratic candidate for president.

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