V.I. Superdelegate Supports Clinton, Then Obama, Now Back to Clinton

May 27, 2008 9:41pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: The nearly 800 Democratic superdelegates are free to support any candidate and are free to change their mind at any time, as many times as they want.

In the ABC News delegate estimate, about a dozen unpledged "superdelegates" have switched their support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, but until tonight none had switched from Obama to Clinton.

Kevin Rodriquez, a superdelegate from the Virgin Islands, was supporting Clinton earlier this year, then switched to Obama and, according to the Clinton campaign tonight, is now back in the New York senator’s corner.

The Clinton campaign announced in a press release that Rodriquez was backing Hillary Clinton but did not provide a statement from Rodriquez.

On May 10, Rodriquez, an African-American Democratic committeeman and the director of personnel for the Virgin Islands government, announced that he was switching his support from Clinton to Obama, citing the Illinois senator’s judgment, courage and energy.

"While I have great respect for Senator Clinton, today I am announcing my support for Barack Obama," Rodriquez said in a statement released by the Obama campaign on May 10. "Senator Obama has brought a new generation and energy into the democratic process and the Democratic Party. He has shown he can connect with Democrats, Republicans and Independents across this country, whether we live on the mainland or an island.

"Senator Obama’s judgment to lead, courage to tell the truth and commitment to working men and women make him the best candidate to lead this country forward."

Just three months earlier, Rodriquez was in Clinton’s corner.

Obama went on a 10-contest winning streak in February, including the Virgin Islands caucuses on Feb. 9. On Feb. 18, Rodriquez told The St. Croix Source that he was supporting Clinton because "she’s a better candidate."

"I’m very proud of Barack Obama. I think he’s doing a great job," Rodriquez said. "I’m honored as an African-American to have him in the position he is in, but I feel Hillary is still the better candidate to lead the party to victory in November."

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