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Record numbers at county caucuses Tuesday

By Staff | Feb 11, 2008

Officials called last Tuesday the largest turnout at Faribault County caucuses ever.

There were record numbers at both the Democrat and Republican political caucuses held at the Blue Earth Area High School.

Republicans from across the county caucused in the Performing Arts Center at the school. Democrats from the western side of the county met in the media center at the school in Blue Earth, while Democrats from the eastern side met in Wells.

DFL caucus chairman John Huisman said that the turnout at both locations in the county totaled 201 people. There were 137 in Blue Earth and 64 in Wells.

The county Democrats took a straw vote for presidential candidates and Barack Obama barely edged out Hillary Clinton. The vote totals were 106 for Obama and 94 for Clinton, with one vote for John Edwards.

Huisman commented that if Obama could win in a conservative area like Faribault County he would probably score well in the metro areas of the state. He was right, as Obama won two to one over Clinton in Minnesota.

The county Republican caucus had 165 register at the door, according to GOP caucus chairman David Murray. He called that a very big turnout for the county.

The Republicans also took a straw vote and Mike Huckabee won two to one over the other three candidates. Huckabee had 67 votes and the other three were all in the low 30s.

“It was 40% for Huckabee and 20% each for the other three; John McCain, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul,” Murray said. Statewide Romney was the winner, while nationwide McCain won the most delegates.

Both Huisman and Murray called the turnout “tremendous and exciting,” at the local caucuses. Murray said it had to do with the interest in the presidential race and the First District Representative race.

Next up for the parties are the county conventions. The Democrats will meet April 6 in the media center at Blue Earth Area High School. The Republicans will meet March 15 in Wells.