Gubernatorial polls highlight caucus agendas

Clockwise from left, Jon Chalmers, Sheila Helleson, Dick Donaldson, Rosemary Martin and Shirley Anderson discussed issues relative to the DFL’s state platform at Tuesday night’s DFL caucus at Twin Circles Apartments.
Sandy Ludeman addresses the Republican caucus in Tracy Tuesday night.

Democrats outnumbered Republicans in political precinct caucuses held in Tracy on Tuesday night.

The Republican caucus at Tracy Area High School — which was open citizens from Tracy, Garvin, and Monroe, Custer and Amiret townships — attracted just four people.  The DFL caucus held at the Twin Circle Apartments Community Room had nine attendees, including five from Tracy.

DFL caucus

In a straw poll, those who gathered on the DFL side were in favor of District 1 Congressman Tim Walz to represent the party in the DFL gubernatorial race. Walz received four votes, State Auditor Rebecca Otto 3, and Chris Coleman and Tina Liebling one apiece.

At the local level, Rosemary Martin was elected caucus chair, and Dyna Slyter and Jon Chalmers were elected tellers.

The group also discussed ways to amend the party’s ongoing platform and how to have their voices heard beyond the county level.

Republican caucus

A straw poll for Republican gubernatorial candidates did not produce a favorite. Former governor Tim Pawlenty, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, Woodbury Mayor Mary Stephens, and Keith Downey each received one vote.

Materials were shared about U.S. Senate candidates Karin Housley and Jim Newberger , but a preference poll was not taken.

Attendees were given the responsibility for selecting delegates to the Lyon County Republican convention, Saturday, Feb. 24, 9 a.m. at the Marshall YMCA Tracy, by virtue of its votes for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, is entitled to six delegates and 12 alternates.

The Republican turnout was down sharply from 2016, when 55 people attended the caucus in Tracy.  Sandy Ludeman, who led the meeting, said that interest in the 2016 caucuses was heightened by the 2016 presidential race.