PHILADELPHIA — A Democratic National Convention intended to unify the party made one local delegate question whether she can support its nominee for president.
"I've seen how the (Democratic National Committee) has treated Bernie Sanders delegates here, and I'm not sure I can support her after that," said Ellen Ross of Hillary Clinton. "It just feels like they're trying to silence people who are dissenting, which isn't very democratic."
Ross and 18th Congressional District delegate Patsy Bowles of Bloomington, a supporter and longtime friend of Clinton, spoke to The Pantagraph about the convention before Clinton's speech Thursday.
"I am confident that she will lay out her plans for America's future, keeping in mind that we are already a great nation," said Bowles.
Ross, a recent Illinois State University graduate and 18th Congressional District delegate, was among supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who protested during the convention, which feted Clinton after she defeated Sanders for the nomination. Many walked out after Clinton was nominated Tuesday.
That was in response to emails published Sunday that showed the DNC, which is forbidden from taking sides in the primaries, helped the Clinton campaign — and things didn't get much better at the gathering in Philadelphia, Ross said.
"All of a sudden Tuesday they started taking our signs away," she said, noting the same signs were allowed Monday. "Some of my friends were told they didn't have seats, but they're delegates, they had assigned seats. ... They ended up sitting on the floor."
Bowles and Ross agreed the best speakers included Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and first lady Michelle Obama. Others to draw praise included President Bill Clinton, vice presidential nominee Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Ross said she "loved meeting people from around the country, talking to them about why they're here and who they're supporting" all week.
"I went to a youth council meeting and met a ton of people my age who are into politics. We talked about what we can do to get out the youth vote for Hillary," she said.
Ross described the experience as "high-energy" and "kind of exhausting."
"I have never seen a convention that has been so inclusive and welcoming. It's a good feeling," Bowles said.