Hillary Clinton may not appear on a ballot anywhere for at least another year and a half, but her (first) name will in just a few days.
On Tuesday, Democrats in Washington will head to the polls to decide a contentious mayoral primary, but farther down the ballot, they'll also have the option of voting for a "D.C. Ready for Hillary" slate of candidates running for party-leadership positions.
The four candidates have no affiliation with the super PAC of the same name, but they're fired up about the former secretary of State, and want voters to know that.
"We have been strong supporters of Hillary through the years and so we thought that by identifying ourselves with the hopes that she would run, that would help people understand our direction and draw them to us," said MaryEva Candon, a longtime local party leader who is running on the slate for Democratic national committeewoman from the District of Columbia. Setting the rules for the presidential primary process is a key job for committee members.
Also on the slate is Arrington Dixon, a former D.c. council member, who is running for Democratic national committeeman, along with Philip Pannell and Courtney Snowden, who are running as alternates. Dixon and Candon have both previously served as DNC members, including during the 2008 Democratic primary. If they win, they'll also serve on the local party's executive committee.
Candon said the Clinton name (and paraphernalia) are a major draw. "If you support Hillary, you might like to support us, instead of others running for the same position," she says she tells people at events. "People want our stickers, it's really fun."
They'll be competing against candidates running on a "The Rent Is Too Darn High" slate, among others.
While the Ready for Hillary candidates have no official connection to the Ready for Hillary super PAC, Candon said she and her running mates are members of the grassroots organization, and want to support their work. "We are not a subsidiary of them, but we are an advocate of them," she said. "We are a grassroots effort that wants her to run also, so we borrowed their name, Ready for Hillary, and added D.C. so we weren't exactly the same."
Ready for Hillary (the super PAC) declined to comment for the record, but those close to the group see it as evidence of the strength and popularity of their brand (which is itself derivative of the strength and popularity of Hillary Clinton's brand).
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