Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What a night!

SD 43 precinct caucuses
I thought I would show up early to my SD 43 caucus tonight to get a good parking spot, so I arrived there, at Wayzata Central Middle School, around 6:30 pm for a 7:00 pm start.

The parking lot was full. I had to park across the street in the neighborhood. I have never seen attendance so high in several years of caucus-going. Supporting candidates and helping to direct traffic in the crowded entrance hall were former Plymouth mayor and state Senate candidate Judy Johnson and her daughter, and former BPOU co-chair John Knight, among several others.

The caucus began with everyone in the lunchroom, which was even more full than the parking lot. The speakers had to stand on a table just to be seen. A surrogate (campaign staffer) spoke on behalf of Congressional candidate Erik Paulsen. Dave Johnson, unsuccessful candidate for House District 43B, called for a candidate to step forward to challenge the incumbent DFLer in that race, John Benson. Former U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz gave a pep talk.

Rudy Boschwitz

Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Koblick asked for continued delegate support. Candidates for outgoing Commissioner Penny Steele's seat, Jeff Johnson and Warren Limmer, who are both seeking the Republican endorsement, were also in the crowd at various points during the night. The Hennepin County endorsing convention is Saturday, February 23.

When I reached my precinct meeting room, late due to the heavy hallway traffic, there were so many people there, I thought I was in the wrong room. At over 60 persons, there was the equivalent of several years worth of attendance there tonight. Amazing. For the first time in my several years of experience, we had more persons run for convention delegates (sixteen) than our allocation (seven delegates and seven alternates). Our BPOU convention is Saturday, March 8.

In the presidential straw poll, our precinct, BPOU, and state went to Mitt. I am pleased by Mitt's support within our precinct's delegation.

Straw poll
Our precinct's resolution session was long, with over a dozen resolutions presented, debated, and vote on. Unfortuately, some of the resolutions were hastily written, and the presenters were ill-prepared to support them. On the other hand, debates were lively and respectful. We passed several resolutions from EdWatch, one that would repeal mandatory ethanol content in vehicle fuels, and one that would remove the incumbent designations on judicial ballots, among others. We defeated resolutions on mandatory national service, and several others. (Since I was one of the tellers counting delegate ballots, I wasn't able to participate much in the resolution discussions.)

On the way out around 10 pm, I got to shake hands with another one of our more well-known residents of SD 43, former Governor Al Quie. It was a great night for our senate district and for conservative Republicans statewide.

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