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Obama Might Lose West Virginia Delegate to Federal Inmate

4:09 PM, May 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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President Barack Obama might not be the only Democratic presidential candidate to receive a national party delegate in West Virginia. Keith Judd might receive one, also. But, in order for him to be represented at the Democratic National Committee convention in North Carolina, he must win at least 15 percent of the vote. The Charleston Gazette reports

Under state and national Democratic Party rules, if little-known Democratic presidential candidate Keith Judd secures 15 percent of the vote in today's election, he will technically be entitled to have at least one delegate from West Virginia at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Who is Judd, though? "Inmate No. 11593-051 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas, where he is serving a 210-month sentence for extortion," the Gazette reports.

"Judd was able to gain access to the West Virginia primary ballot thanks to the state's comparatively liberal ballot access laws, which require only that candidates meet residency, age and any other eligibility requirements for the particular office, and pay the filing fee," the Gazette writes.

Already, Democrats are more than uncomfortable, trying to figure out how to deny Judd a delegate even if he receives the minimum percentage of votes. 

State Democratic Party Executive Director Derek Scarbro said Monday he has calls in to the Democratic National Committee regarding contingencies in the event Judd draws 15 percent of the vote.

"I am researching it," Scarbro said.

One issue, he said, is that no one has filed to be a Judd delegate to the national convention, and it is unclear how the party would designate such a delegate or delegates, or if anyone would even agree to accept the appointment.

"While it is uncertain what amount of votes Mr. Judd will get tomorrow, it is not likely that he will earn any delegates to the national convention," Scarbro said Monday. "No one filed to run as a national convention delegate to support him for president and he may not be eligible to serve anyway, since he is currently an inmate in a federal prison."

The West Virginia primary is today.

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