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Nebraska Superdelegate Shares Experiences

Nebraska Superdelegate Shares Experiences

 Over 100 Doane students, staff, community members and local media were on hand April 1 to gain insight from Audra Ostergard into the Democratic Party's "superdelegates" and their unique power in the 2008 presidential election during an open forum.     

Ostergard of Lincoln, a 1988 Doane graduate, is vice chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party and one of six Nebraska  "superdelegates" to the Democratic National Convention. While on campus,  she also spoke to the political science class Legislative and Executive Behavior. 

Ostergard shared how she became a leader in the Nebraska Democratic organization, her opinion on what a superdelegate is or should be, and talked about her experiences as a superdelegate, primarily in the current election.

The term superdelegate is an informal term for some of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Also called "unpledged," these delegates differ from most convention delegates because they are not selected based on the party primaries and caucuses in each U.S. state. Instead, they are seated automatically, based on their status as current or former elected officeholders and party officials. They are free to support any candidate for nomination.

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the superdelegates will make up about 1/5 of the total number of delegates. The close race increases the chance that superdelegates will play a decisive role in selecting the nominee.

Ostergard majored in business administration and political science at Doane. During her college career, she was a liaison to the Board of Trustees and was selected to attend the Leaders on Leadership Symposium in Washington, D.C.

She currently is senior publishing representative for Elsevier.