County caucus set for Feb. 6
Republicans and Democrats across Faribault County and the rest of the state of Minnesota will be gathering on Tuesday, Feb. 6, for precinct caucus night.
In Faribault County, the Republicans will be holding their caucus at the Blue Earth Area High School Commons. It will include all 33 voting precincts in the county in the one location.
The Democrats will have two locations, with residents in the eastern half of the county meeting at the Wells Community Center, while those in the western half will caucus at the media center at the BEA High School in Blue Earth.
All caucuses begin at 7 p.m. and anyone age 16 or over may attend.
Attendees at the caucuses will have the opportunity to vote for delegates to the upcoming county political party conventions, introduce and debate resolutions for possible inclusion in the party platform and elect other party officers.
In addition, candidates for various public offices, or their representatives, may be in attendance.
“We will also be conducting a straw poll for the gubernatorial race,” says Bill Erickson, the county Republican party chair, and the convener of the caucus. “Those results will be sent in to the state.”
Currently there are nine candidates, from both parties, running for governor.
Erickson says that while 2018 is not a presidential election year, it is still a very important political season in Minnesota.
“We will be electing a new governor and a new congressman in the First District this fall, as neither incumbent is running,” he says. “As well has having both our U.S. Senator seats up for election at the same time.”
While there is a lot of attention to those races, Erickson admits he expects a much smaller crowd at this week’s caucus than in February of 2016, when there was a large number of candidates for the Republican nomination for president.
“We had set up more tables and chairs and run off more material to hand out in anticipation of a very large crowd in 2016,” Erickson says. “But it still turned out to be three times more than what we had anticipated. I had never seen such a huge crowd at a caucus ever before.”
This year could be back to a normal size caucus attendance.