They are the backbone of Connecticut politics, the unheralded, mostly unknown foot soldiers who keep their parties churning with candidates. Once every four years a lucky few dozen of them of collect a big perk — a trip to the national convention to nominate a presidential contender.

This year, of course, that’s happening mostly online. But the people involved — delegates to the conventions — are no less eager to make their mark.

Here are the stories of some of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, originally slated for Milwaukee, the largest city in a crucial swing state. The convention starts Monday.

Frank Alvarado

Frank Alvarado, 71, was a Joe Biden supporter even when things looked “bleak,” he said.

Despite Biden’s slow start in the first primaries and caucuses, the North Haven resident was convinced that Biden would pull through on the basis of his experience as vice president and senator. Now, Alvarado the believer will cast his vote to nominate Biden to be the Democratic Party’s presidential pick on Tuesday as a Connecticut delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

“I always had hope that we would end up where we are today,” Alvarado said.

All of Connecticut’s 60 delegates to the Democratic National Convention are Joe Biden supporters, after Biden on Tuesday swept the state’s presidential primary — the last such contest in the nation thanks to multiple pandemic-related postponements.

Each state chooses their delegates in a different process. In Connecticut, people run to become a delegate and win election from a convention of Democrats in their congressional delegate. These prospective delegates must pledge themselves to a presidential candidate — and win the support of that campaign. The results of the presidential primary determine which campaign’s delegates will attend the convention.

In addition, party leaders and elected officials get delegate spots. Connecticut’s seven Democratic members of Congress, Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, Attorney General William Tong and other state officials are all participating this year.

Former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, who helped Biden vet his vice presidential candidate options, will also serve as a delegate.

Local delegates run the gamut from political insiders to newcomers and college students. 2020 will be Alvarado’s second convention — his first was in 2016 in Philadelphia — but for many delegates, this year’s virtual format will be their first taste of the once-every-four-years political spectacle. No Democratic delegates will travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the event’s host city.

Dominique Johnson

In 2008, Dominique Johnson helped build the election data tools that carried Barack Obama to a historic victory.

Johnson worked as a data analyst in Obama’s Boston headquarters, upgrading lists for door-knocking and phone-banking to give the campaign unprecedented outreach.

“I didn’t realize at that time that what we were doing was really going to shift how we view data,” Johnson said. “Looking back I’m like yearh I guess that was cool.”

After helping build the campaign that put Obama in the White House and handed Joe Biden the vice presidency, Johnson is now “ecstatic” to support Biden’s campaign as a delegate to the convention. As an LGBTQ woman, getting elected to this role had particular significance, she said.

“To serve as a delegate is a pretty amazing seat at the table to have,” she said. “This platform and this ticket is the most pro-LGBTQ we have ever had... I’m proud to stand up for that.”

Johnson, a member of the Norwalk City Council who works in non-profit consulting, said she read all 60 pages of Biden’s platform Thursday night. With the Sen. Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate, a familiar optimism is creeping in, a tingling wish that the Obama coalition could be revived.

“It is fantastic feeling for the hope for the future that we can share,” Johnson said.

Michael Cerulli

Michael Cerulli, 19, will serve as a delegate before he’s even cast his first ever vote in a presidential election.

President of the Connecticut College Democrats, he is among just a handful of college students who were elected this year, the youngest delegates of the bunch. A Trumbull High School graduate, Cerulli is starting his sophomore year at the University of Connecticut at Storrs later this month.

Cerulli was a Biden supporter from the get-go, he said, a factor that made him “the odd man out” among his progressive peers who favored the platforms of Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Cerulli traveled to New Hampshire to campaign for Biden ahead of that state’s primary in February.

A co-chair of the state’s Students for Biden group, he’s continued campaigning for Biden during the pandemic through Zoom meetings with volunteers, phone and text banking and outreach to friends.

Mentors in the Democratic Party have told Cerulli colorful stories about past conventions, and while he’s disappointed this convention won’t have the same flair, he noted the virtual format allows more people to participate. Most college students wouldn’t have the money or time (especially at the end of summer) to fly to an in-person convention.

“I think in a way this is probably the most accessible convention in history,” he said.

Melissa Kane

Melissa Kane got her first “blush” at a national convention as a 21 year old. It was 1992 and the Democratic National Convention was taking place at Madison Square Garden.

Kane was a volunteer for the National Democratic Institute, chaperoning dignitaries from foreign countries around the convention hall to experience the American political process first hand. Kane’s uncle was a delegate from Florida and he always spoke to her about his close friendship with an old Georgetown University buddy, who was now the governor of Arkansas. It was Bill Clinton.

Kane’s uncle invited her to a party with the Florida delegation where she met Clinton for the first time. (She later was invited to the White House to meet then president Clinton at the rope line during the Million Mom March of 2000.)

“It made a huge impression,” recalls Kane, a Westport selectwoman.

Since that time, it has been a “dream” of Kane’s to serve as a delegate, she said. Long active in the Westport Democratic Party, 2020 will be Kane’s first experience as a delegate.

“Here we are at this moment where we are approaching which I really believe is the most important election in our lives,” she said.

Colin Hosten

For years, there was one aspect of American life that Colin Hosten felt shut out of.

Hosten, 38, is now a naturalized citizen, but he came to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago and remained in the country a student visa and then on a work visa. He completed his studies, got married, paid taxes, but he could not vote.

This year, Hosten decided to run to become a delegate for the first time because “I want to be part of what we’re voting for.” The Democrat and Fairfield University professor says he’s commited to working within the party to help craft the message that voters will support — up and down the ticket.

A Norwalk resident, Hosten ran for the Connecticut General Assembly in 2018 against Democratic Rep. Travis Simms and Republican John Flynn. The Working Families Party candidate he garned about 10 percent of the vote. Hosten was later elected to the Norwalk City Council and now serves on the city’s Board of Education.

Robin Druckman

When Robin Druckman, 52, heard the convention was in Milwaukee, she knew she had to attend.

Druckman, the vice chair of the Stamford Democratic City Committee, grew up in Appleton, Wisc. about two hours north of Milwaukee. When she lived there as a youth it was Republican country, but Democrats have started to close the gap in the area in recent years.

“I was excited to go back and campaign there,” Druckman said, “but that all ended because of COVID.”

A former real estate agent, Druckman at first wanted to put her event planning savvy to work and volunteer at the convention. Then, she learned she could become a delegate.

Druckman initally was a supporter of South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, but was happy to back Biden after Buttigieg’s campaign collapsed. She got involved in politics in 2018 after the Parkland School shooting in Florida motivated her to join the Connecticut gun violence prevention movement.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Melissa Kane attended the Million Man March in 1992; she attended the Million Mom March in 2000.