Election 2016

Mayor Sylvester Turner Expects Democrats Will Unite Behind Clinton

Many supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders still vow they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton in November. Eight years ago, Turner remembers, Clinton’s partisans said the same thing about Barack Obama.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a "Get Out the Caucus" rally at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a “Get Out the Caucus” rally at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. Taken on January 24, 2016.

The Democratic National Convention has formally chosen Hillary Clinton as the party’s 2016 candidate for president.

Divisions between Clinton supporters and those of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders continued to roil the Texas delegation into the second day of the convention. But Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is at the convention in Philadelphia, is convinced most of Sanders’ followers will support Clinton in November. Turner says the Democrats’ have come back from worse intraparty fights than this to win the White House. He points to the party’s 2008 convention in Denver.

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

“There were a lot of people who were committed to Hillary all the way to the convention,” Turner says, “and there were many people who said they were not going to support Barack Obama. I mean, they said it publicly, and at the time they said it, they meant it. But when people start kind of looking at all of the issues and who was in their best interest, people rallied behind President Barack Obama.”

The mayor says he fully expects the 2008 dynamic will repeat itself, whatever Sanders supporters may think of Clinton personally.

“I think that people recognize that there are important issues that are impacting children and families. The economy. Working-class people. The income inequality is very real. Criminal justice reform. Who will be appointing people to the United States Supreme Court. Those are big issues that supersede any one particular personality,” he says.

Turner says he’s actually pleased to see Sanders voters, particularly younger ones, showing so much energy and passion. He says they’ve worked hard, and the party needs to respect their opinions.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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