Precinct caucuses had low turnout

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 3/10/98.

The turnout for many of the area caucuses was small. Farming Township had three people represented, Munson Township, four; city of Richmond, six;and nobody turned out at the DFL caucus in Spring Hill or Lake Henry.

The DFL party took a straw poll for gubernatorial candidates. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III and former state auditor Mark Dayton were the top vote getters in this area of Stearns County.

The Republican party did not take a statewide straw poll for governor.

Nancy Macht said 21 people attended the Republican caucus for the cities of Paynesville and Roscoe, and Paynesville, Eden Lake and Zion townships.

ďThis was the first year we had a printed platform which those attending could review,Ē Macht said. ďThe only changes the group felt wereneeded were discussed and resolutions forwarded included pro-life issues, education and contributions to the national endowment to the arts.

Several caucuses supported a resolution that to be a candidate in the primary election, a person needs to receive at least 20 percent of the vote at the endorsing convention or have 10 percent of the number of voters in the last election sign a petition supporting his or her candidacy.

Senator Michelle Fischbach and Representative Doug Stang stopped by the Paynesville caucus and provided information on legislative issues.

Fischbach states another chapter in Minnesotaís political history unfolded. Tens of thousands of people gathered in small groups around the state to decide what the focus of our major political parties should be and who should represent the parties as endorsed candidates. This is one of the best examples of grassroots politics in the nation.

ďThe precinct caucuses bring to mind the old adage: ĎThe world belongs to those who show upí involved citizens who show up at their caucus can vote on resolutions which make up the partyís platform and declare their support for candidates as they try to move on as delegates to the next level in the process,Ē Fischbach said.

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