Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who will step down as chair of the Democratic National Committee following the convention, will no longer gavel in the convention on Monday, the Sun Sentinel reported.
By removing herself entirely from the convention’s proceedings, Wasserman Schultz will avoid the potential for supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to boo her off stage. Sanders supporters already hesitant to back Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee have become emboldened by the news that DNC officials mocked their campaign over email.
Earlier on Monday, the outgoing DNC chair was met with boos by protesters at an event for Florida delegates, and Sanders delegates seemed willing to boo Wasserman Schultz off the main stage during prime time.
Even when Sanders himself called on his supporters Monday morning to vote for Clinton, he was met with boos.
“I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention,” she told the Sun Sentinel on Monday.
“I stepped down the other day because I wanted to make sure that having brought us to this momentous day and to Philadelphia and planned the convention that is going to be the best one that we’ve ever had in our party’s history, that this needs to be all about making sure that everyone knows that Hillary Clinton would make the best president,” she continued.
Wasserman Schultz said on Sunday that she would step down as DNC chair after leaked emails revealed party officials mocked Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign and may have worked against him in the primary. And she was replaced by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) as the convention chair. But until Monday afternoon, Wasserman Schultz had still planned to briefly open the convention by gaveling in.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, the DNC secretary, will gavel in the convention in Wasserman Schultz’s place.