2012-07-08 / Front Page
Mike Stone, Elaine Gates-Jocuns to be local faces in Charlotte
LAPEER COUNTY — In September of this year, seven delegates, four men and three women, from Michigan’s 10th Congressional District, which includes Lapeer, Huron, St. Clair and Sanilac counties, as well as most of northern Macomb County, will be traveling to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Two of those seven delegates will be Lapeer County residents Mike Stone and Elaine Gates-Jocuns.
Gary Medland, chairperson for the Lapeer County Democratic Party, expressed the pride of the Lapeer County Democratic Party at having two delegates serve at the national convention. “What a great honor it is for both Elaine and Mike to be elected by the party to be delegates,” said Medland. “It is also a great honor for the Lapeer County Democrats, and we are proud of them.”
Both delegates had to go through a lengthy process to be elected as delegates. Before getting on the ballot, both Stone and Gates-Jocuns had to apply to and be vetted by the Obama campaign. They were elected as delegates at the Democrat’s 10th Congressional District Convention on Saturday, June 2 in Shelby Township. “They’re both very excited about being selected and being able to go,” said Medland.
Stone, 50, is an official with local UAW Region One and a resident of Mayfield Township. Both Stone and Gates-Jocuns are honored to serve as delegates at the Democratic Party National Convention. Stone said that, with a labor background, he believes that serving as delegate will help laborers’ voices to be heard, and he is excited to “see some of the future leaders of the Democratic Party” at the convention.
Stone, who attended Imlay City Schools, first found an interest in politics in a social studies class in junior high when his teacher talked to the class about elections. Since then, he has maintained a strong interest and involvement in politics, working for a congressman in his teens, joining the Democratic Party in his 20s and serving as an alternate delegate at the national convention in Los Angeles in 2004. “I’m kind of a political junkie,” said Stone. “This is my amusement park.”
Raised by a Democratic family, Gates-Jocuns, a 51-year-old paralegal from Lapeer, is both excited and nervous to serve as a delegate for the 10th Congressional District — this is her first year to serve as a delegate. She said she was honored and speechless when she was elected. “I believe in Michigan and truly would love to be a voice for Lapeer,” said Gates-Jocuns. “I am mostly looking forward to representing our area.”
Attending the national convention is a serious responsibility for delegates, and neither Stone nor Gates- Jocuns made the decision to run lightly, said Medland. Both delegates will be required to attend the national convention from September 3-6, and they will have to pay all their own expenses.
While at the convention, Stone and Gates-Jocuns will be representing Michigan’s 10th Congressional District. At the convention, each delegate will cast his or her vote for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. Most delegates pledge themselves to vote for a particular presidential candidate prior to the national convention; presumably this year’s Democratic presidential nominee will be President Obama.
Along with voting for a presidential nominee, the Democratic Party will also be deciding on the party’s platform at the national convention, as well as trying to raise party morale and enthusiasm. It’s a time to “get the troops fired up and get ‘em out to push through for the campaign,” said Medland.
Visit www.demconvention.com to find out more about this year’s Democratic National Convention.
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