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Two U. Arizona Students To Be Democratic Delegates At DNC

This story was written by Alex Dalenberg, Arizona Daily Wildcat

Who says every college kid is an Obama-maniac?

Two U. Arizona students have been elected delegates to this year's Democratic National Convention, both of whom are pledged delegates for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

David Martinez III, an education senior, and Chris Campas, a history sophomore, will represent their congressional districts at this year's convention, to be held in Denver from Aug. 25 to Aug. 28. At the convention, they will attend party meetings, vote on the Democratic Party platform, and, most importantly, cast a ballot for their party's nominee.

While Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) nomination is in little doubt, many Clinton delegates are still struggling with how they will vote at the convention, Martinez said.

"It's a tough question," he said.

Martinez and Campas have been Clinton stalwarts.

Martinez represents Arizona's 7th District. At the beginning of the campaign, he founded a group called "Wildcats for Hillary." When Clinton visited the UA campus in February, he spoke to the crew of 5,000 supporters to get them ready for the senator's arrival.

Campas represents Arizona's 8th District. At only 20 years old, he has already embarked on a political career. In 2006, he ran for City Council in his hometown of Sierra Vista, losing by four votes. He is currently a candidate for the Cochise County Board of Supervisors. He has received several awards from the Arizona Democratic Party for his activism in politics. He is also a die-hard Clinton supporter and campaigned hard for the senator in Cochise County.

"I'd been waiting for Senator Clinton to run, I hesitate to say my whole life, but pretty close to it," Campas said.

Clinton was victorious in Arizona's primary, but as the campaign dragged on, she could not win enough delegates to become the democrats' presumptive nominee. Both men said that it was hard for her most passionate supporters to see her end her presidential bid.

"It was definitely a hard pill to swallow, because I cared so much about the senator and the causes she represented," Martinez said.

"I'm not going to lie about it. On some level, it was heartbreaking," Campas said.

However, Campas and Martinez may have the chance to cast another ballot for Clinton.

In the spirit of party unity, Clinton is expected to release her pledged delegates from their commitment to her, allowing them to cast a vote for Obama. However, Campas said that he still expects Clinton's name to be placed in nomination at the convention, in which case he will vote for her anyway, even if she cannot possibly win.

"That's what I was elected to do, and that's what I intend to do," he said. "I don't think (the primary election) produced a winner. It just produced someone who was a little more ahead. I think that Senator Clinton should be acknowledged for her hard work."

Martinez, on the other hand, plans to cast a vote for Obama.

"In the spirit of unity, I will be pushing for a unified delegation in support of Senator Obama, but I'm not going to forget what (Clinton) fought for," he said.

Despite their support for Clinton, both Campas and Martinez said they are happy to work for Obama in the general election.

"It's still a wonderful yer to be a democrat, whatever the differences," Campas said.

The Daily Wildcat contacted the Pima County Republican Party about any UA student delegates. At the time of publication, the organization had not called back.