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Gore Gains, Jackson Loses as Kansas Elects Democratic Delegates

April 24, 1988

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Sen. Albert Gore Jr., who put his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on hold Thursday, scored big gains at the expense of Jesse Jackson as Kansas Democrats elected national delegates at congressional district conventions Saturday.

But the big winner in Kansas was still Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the front-runner for the party’s nomination following a big victory last Tuesday in New York’s primary.

Of 26 delegates elected at the district conventions Saturday, Dukakis claimed 12, Jackson seven and Gore five, with two others elected as uncommitted.

That breakdown will dictate how 13 more Kansas delegates are elected at a meeting of the Democratic State Convention on May 14.

Dukakis will claim seven of those 13 for a total of 19 elected delegates from the Sunflower State. Jackson and Gore of Tennessee will split the other six at-large delegates, giving Jackson a total of 10 of the elected Kansas delegates and Gore eight.

Kansas also will have two uncommitted elected delegates and six so-called super delegates from elected and party officials for its total of 45 delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta in July.

The super delegates are officially uncommitted and none has yet declared a preference between Dukakis and Jackson, the only remaining active candidates.

Based on voting at county caucuses held March 19, Dukakis had been projected to win 11 delegates at the district level. He got one more, when previously uncommitted delegates threw in with the Dukakis forces at the 4th District convention in Wichita. That took a delegate away from Jackson.

Jackson also lost delegates to Gore at the 2nd District convention in Topeka and at the 3rd District convention in Prairie Village.

When Gore gained those two delegates at the district level, it enabled him to meet a party requirement that a candidate garner at least 15 percent of the delegates in order to contend for the 13 state delegates.

With eight delegates from the district conventions to Jackson’s 10, Gore was able, mathematically, to claim three of the 13 state delegates. Jackson also will get three of the delegates to be named by the state committee, while Dukakis will get seven of them.

Jackson would have won 10 delegates at the district level and six more at the state level for a total of 16 if he had maintained his support from the county caucuses. But the erosion cost him six delegates, enabling Gore to add five to what had been projected for him. Dukakis picked up the other delegate Jackson lost from his projected total following the local caucuses five weeks ago.

″The reason for the shifts is the Gore people stayed in there and picked up the uncommitted in key places,″ said state party Chairman Jim Parrish.

″Had it not been for the 15 percent threshold, they would have had five delegates based on the county caucuses,″ Parrish said. ″Now they recaptured them, plus one. This shifting around got him the boost he needed.″

Fred Phelps Jr., a Topeka attorney who was a chief organizer for Gore in the 2nd District of northeast Kansas, said, ″We’re just delighted. We worked for it, and the work paid off.″

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