Kaine sides with Sanders, calls for eliminating superdelegates

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: What the midterms mean for defense panels | Pompeo cancels North Korea meeting | Trump eyes Kim summit in early 2019 | Pentagon drops name for border mission Five takeaways from a divisive midterm election GOP to retain Senate majority MORE (D-Va.), the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, is siding with Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersProgressive House Dem pushes for vote on 'Medicare for all' bill Castro takes steps toward likely 2020 bid Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February MORE (I-Vt.) in advocating for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to end the use of superdelegates, saying that they have "undue influence" over the primary process. 

Kaine, who was Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February What midterm exit polls tell us about 2020 MORE's running mate last year, sent a letter to the DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE on Wednesday pushing the party to no longer use the powerful, unelected delegates, who overwhelmingly sided with Clinton against primary rival Sanders. 

"I have long believed there should be no superdelegates. These positions are given undue influence in the popular nominating contest and make the process less democratic,” Kaine wrote in the letter, obtained first by Politico

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Superdelegates consist of powerful Democratic operatives and elected officials whose votes carry more weight than regularly elected delegates, sometimes trumping the winner of state primary votes. 

Sanders received 359 fewer delegates than Clinton in the Democratic primary, yet Clinton won the nomination with 602 superdelegates while Sanders took only 48.

The Vermont senator has been a vocal advocate of abolishing the rule, claiming that Clinton, an establishment candidate, won unfair support from longtime party operatives. 

Kaine, a former DNC chairman and superdelegate himself, urged the Unity Reform Commission, a group reviewing and recommending changes to the system, to do away with superdelegates altogether and said he would protest the rule by voting strictly in accordance with his home district in the future.