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Faribault County caucuses see big turnout

By Staff | Mar 6, 2016

Blue Earth came close to running out of ballots for their GOP caucus.

While Republicans in most of the “Super Tuesday” states voted for Donald Trump, and most of Minnesota Republicans went with Marco Rubio, a record number of Republicans caucusing in Faribault County gave the most votes to Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Last Tuesday night the county’s Republicans caucused in two locations the Wells Community Center and at the Blue Earth Area High School Commons Area. There were 85 people who cast a vote in Wells and 255 who did in Blue Earth.

Totaled up, here are the results for all of Faribault County.

Ted Cruz 135, Marco Rubio 73, Donald Trump 68, Dr. Ben Carson 48, John Kasich 15. Caucus convener William ‘Bill’ Erickson called the turnout the most in modern history. Some of the caucus officials in Blue Earth estimated the overall attendance to be over 300, including children, while 255 actually cast a ballot. And, in Wells, the 85 votes were about triple the normal amount.

Cruz took the top number of votes at both the caucus in Wells and the one in Blue Earth.

A packed house at BEAHS for the 2016 GOP caucus.

The results in Wells were: Cruz 30, Trump 26, Rubio 18, Kasich 7, Carson 4.

In Blue Earth, the votes were: Cruz 105, Rubio 56, Carson 44, Trump 42, Kasich 8.

Casting ballots in the presidential preference voting was not the only activity at the caucus.

In Blue Earth, one supporter for each of the five candidates spoke about why they felt the people present should cast a ballot for their choice.

After the voting, caucus-goers heard from State Representative Bob Gunther, who will be running this fall.

They also heard from Blue Earth resident Mike Enger, who spoke on behalf of, and in support of, Republican candidate for the First Congressional District, Jim Hagedorn, of Blue Earth.

Hagedorn wants to be the endorsed candidate to run against U.S. Representative Tim Walz this fall.

Other items of business at the caucus were to select delegates to the County Republican Convention, which is slated for Saturday, March 19, and to go over the issues covered in the Republican platform.

Faribault County caucuses see big turnout

By Staff | Mar 6, 2016

Democrats saw three times as many participants compared to the last caucus.

The Minnesota-Democratic-Farmer-Labor party (DFL) met at the Wells Community Center in Wells for the Super Tuesday caucus.

Compared to the 2012 Faribault County caucus numbers, the DFL?had more than three times the number of attendees at their caucus. With only 40 attendees in 2012, this year there was a whopping 126 attendees. A full house to say the least.

Shannon Savick, caucus chair for the DFL says the turn out was beyond what she expected.

“I was amazed,” said Savick. “I was expecting maybe 35 people and we had well over 100 people attend. It was wonderful to see.”

And because of that high attendance, all 33 precincts were represented at the DFL caucus.

Precincts split into groups and discussed issues the DFL wants to address.

“Some precincts only had one or two members, but that representation, however small, is important to the party and to our candidates,” said Savick.

Between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the Sanders supporters won the caucus vote. 71 caucus attendees supported Sanders and 55 caucus attendees supported Clinton.

33 Faribault County precincts were represented at the DFL?caucus, and each precinct had one or more people elected by their precincts to attend the Democratic County Convention which is slated for April 10.

One member from a small precinct stated they were happy they attended the caucus, as they were one of very few to represent their township and to them, it was important to have their opinion heard.

Other larger precincts like that of Wells and Blue Earth had larger numbers of caucus goers in attendance.

No resolutions were passed at the caucus this year, but many were discussed. This allowed plenty of time for precincts to discuss which resolutions they wished to include in the party platform at both the county and state conventions.

Savick stated that there were many young people in attendance at the DFL?caucus and she hopes that does not change.

“It was wonderful to see the amount of young people that came out and I hope they continue to caucus and speak for the Democratic party. I hope to one day give up my position as caucus chair to a younger Democrat,” she said.