Two distinct camps of delegates on 'One Nation' night 

The theme of tonight's convention agenda is "One Nation" but there will be two distinct groups of delegates on the floor of the Pepsi Center.

Despite efforts to completely unify the party behind nominee Barack Obama, there are still significant numbers of delegates who support Hillary Clinton and plan to vote for her, at least on the first ballot, when the roll is called.

"I still think she is the better candidate," said Awilda Marquez, 59, a delegate from Colorado, who is sporting a hat with the words "Hillary Delegate" emblazoned upon it.

Marquez said she and other delegates believe Clinton, who will speak at the convention Tuesday night, has been treated unfairly. Some are so angered by that, and they are not willing to just give up their fight for her and get behind Obama, she said.

"I want the roll call and I want to be able to wave my sign and acknowledge that this happened," Marquez said. "This is the biggest historical event for women we have had in our lives."

Colorado delegate Jessica Clark, 29, said she will also vote for Clinton, but only on the first ballot. She will vote for Obama on the second ballot.

"I'm a party person and I'm a pragmatist and I've gotten over it," Clark said.

Nineteen of Colorado's 70 delegates plan to vote for Clinton at least on the first ballot.

Clark acknowledged that there are many delegates who will never cast a vote for Obama at the convention.

Some, like her, are disappointed that Obama did not select Clinton as his running mate. Others believe Obama got the nomination unfairly when the Democratic National Committee ruled earlier this year not to award Clinton the full delegate votes of Florida and Michigan, two states that violated the committee rules by holding their primaries too early.

"They are still angry about that," Clark said.

Superdelegates made up mostly of elected officials, are trying to display a united front.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, said he will vote for Obama on the first ballot but he does not know how other House delegates will vote.

"I understand there is some frustration among some of the delegates," Hoyer said Monday morning. "But that is normal. That is part of the process."

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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