Labor leader Larry Cohen, a former CWA president, came on stage at UB Alumni Arena Monday evening, talked awhile about the Sanders campaign being about working people, then, to resounding applause, he introduced the candidate he said would be the next president of the Unites States - Bernie Sanders.
But there was no Sanders.
It'll be just a few more minutes, Cohen then told the crowd of 8,500 in Alumni Arena. Sanders, he explained, was outside the arena talking to the 3,000 people who didn't get admitted.
Cohen proceeded to lead the inside audience in some union-style sloganeering, until the crowd began chanting for Sanders, who soon walked into the arena and took the stage.
How it happened
While walking around the Alumni Arena, I ran into two of the students who started the petition drive that brought Sanders to UB .
They were thrilled with the way things worked out.
"Oh my god. I had hope," said Josh Herman, 19, a sophomore.
"I think the 3,300 signatures helped," said Dillon Smith, 22, a junior.
Smith was referring to the petition that Herman, Smith and their UB Progressives organization circulated on campus that asked the Sanders' campaign to come to UB.
The petition was submitted April 5th to the UB Student Association, which presented it to the Sanders campaign April 6th. The following day, Thursday, the Student Association and the Sanders campaign were talking. Friday, the plan was set. And Monday, of course, Sanders was on campus.
"It's been a good few years for UB," another student told me earlier in the event. Three years ago, both Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama spoke at UB. Now, the university got a presidential candidate Monday night.
Presidential Primary Straw Poll
You know the rules. You can vote in the Democratic or Republican primary, or both.
I truly appreciate if you will include your party affiliation. It's for analysis only.
And please, only one ballot per person.
Count down to New York Primary news
Here are links to Buffalo News' coverage of the Bernie Sanders rally.
Will college students be able to vote?
Ted Cruz coming to Buffalo Thursday
Donald Trump coming to Buffalo Monday
Common Council meeting 2 p.m. today in Council Chambers