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Bernie Sanders to campaign in Pittsburgh Thursday

PTRRALLIES02031516
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders greets a crowd of supporters during a rally on Monday, March 14, 2016, in the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio.
PTRRALLIES05031516
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd of supporters at a rally in the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday, March 14, 2016.
PTRRALLIES14031516
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd of supporters on Monday, March 14, 2016, at a rally in the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will make his first Pennsylvania campaign stop in Pittsburgh on Thursday with a rally at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center at Exhibit Hall C in the Cultural District.

Sanders will speak at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public; the doors will open at 7:30 a.m., and organizers strongly suggest that supporters RSVP the campaign website.

The Sanders presidential campaign set up its first Pittsburgh office last week on East Carson Street in the South Side. Rival Democrat Hillary Clinton set up her first Pennsylvania office in Pittsburgh last week as well; it is on North Highland Avenue in East Liberty.

Sanders heads to the Keystone State fresh off three impressive caucus victories Saturday in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii.

In a press call Monday, Sanders’ campaign officials said he had the momentum to topple Clinton in pledged delegates by June. His campaign officials also stressed that he can win the support of unpledged superdelegates to get the Democratic presidential nomination.

Pennsylvania will hold its primary April 26. A total of 210 Democratic delegates are up for grabs, but the process to secure them is complicated. Each congressional district has “pledged” delegates whose names appear on the primary ballot and have declared their support for a particular candidate.

Pledged delegates are awarded to candidates on a proportional basis that hinges on the results of the primary. The number of delegates per congressional district is based on a formula that takes into account voter turnout in the past three presidential elections.

In total, 127 delegates will be selected this way. Candidates can accept or reject individual delegates.

There is also a measure to ensure that the pledged delegates are equally split by gender.

There are 62 additional at-large delegates who are selected by state party leadership. They are proportionally allocated to candidates who receive at least 15 percent of the vote statewide.

In addition, there are 21 superdelegates who are free to vote for any candidate.

Clinton leads Sanders by a combination of 675 pledged and nonpledged superdelegates and delegates.

Salena Zito is a tribune-review staff writer.

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