Clay County Democrats cancel personal caucuses, Republicans gather at hotel – InForum

MOORHEAD – Clay County Democrats have canceled the personal primaries on Tuesday night, Feb. 1, as Republicans plan to meet at a hotel in Moorhead for rallies beginning the 2022 election season.

Paul Harris, DFL County president, said that instead of meeting in person because of the microwave wave, the “contactless caucuses” will invite loyal parties to complete a no-attendance form available on the website to be a delegate. for the County Convention or to table resolutions to be considered for the party platform.

Residents can then drop off or complete the form on Tuesday at one of four locations between 6:30 PM and 9:00 PM: the Clay County DFL office at 1424 First Avenue North in Moorhead next to Junkyard Brewing Co., Comstock Memorial Union on the Minnesota State campus University Moorhead or in high schools in Barnesville or Hawley. There will be people at each location to pick up the forms, Harris said.

They may also be mailed to the Clay County DFL, PO Box 161, Moorhead, MN 56561.

The DFL County Convention will take place on April 23 at the Comstock Memorial Union. There, delegates to the state convention are elected and approved resolutions are also forwarded to the state meeting. There is also the local Senate district convention on April 30 at a location to be determined, Harris said.

Often the caucuses are a time for candidates for local, congressional and state offices to show up and seek support, but Harris said all offices statewide are occupied by incumbent DFL and all are planning to run again.

However, he said that now that Rep. Paul Marquardt is withdrawing from the House, there will be a new candidate seeking his position and seeking support in upcoming conventions. There is also a field of candidates looking to take on U.S. Representative Michelle Fischbach, who defeated longtime Representative Collin Peterson two years ago.

Harris said the leading candidate to hire Fischbach so far is Reed Olson, executive director of a nonprofit that operates a homeless shelter, a restaurant owner and a two-year Beltrami County Commissioner from Bemidji. A Moorhead man, Mark Lindquist, who previously announced he was seeking the DFL nomination, has dropped out, Harris said.

In a different twist this year, the state party announced that Minnesotans who are not eligible to vote in certain categories can still participate in the caucuses and convention process. For example, non-civil immigrants, “dreamers” and ex-offenders who have served their time can participate, the party said in a press release. The party won a lawsuit that overturned a state law restricting caucus participation to eligible voters.

Meanwhile, it’s a different story in many ways on the Republican side of Clay County. They gather on Tuesday evenings at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel’s Convention Center at 1080 28th Ave. S. in Moorhead, starting with registration at 6:15 PM and the caucuses from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

The Clay County Republican Party website states that all districts will gather at the convention center.

The participants sit at their own terrain.

The caucus will consist of voting in a straw poll for their favorite candidate to participate in this year’s governor’s race, electing delegates to the provincial convention, submitting resolutions to vote for and electing district officials. .

Candidates seeking initial support for their campaigns may appear on the caucuses, which include the several GOP candidates for governor looking to take on Democratic administration Tim Walz this fall.

A statewide secret ballot will be held on caucuses to give a clue as to who could lead the race for the GOP’s approval for governor. Candidates in the race so far include Michelle Benson, Paul Gazelka, Scott Jensen, Mike Murphy, Kendall Qualls and Neil Shah. Candidates are also seeking support for other state and local legislative seats.

Statewide and local results in the governor’s candidate preference survey will be announced once results are tabulated.

Clay County Republican Party chairman Edwin Hahn did not immediately respond to calls for comment about the meeting.

Two other parties have gained major party status in Minnesota, both single-issue parties with the goal of legalizing marijuana in the state.

One of those parties, the Legalize Marijuana Now party, said they will hold a caucus and state convention this year, as required. The caucus will also be virtual, said Marty Super, one of the party’s founders.

He said they welcome people from every party, noting that they have mostly progressives but also a few Republican supporters.

“We’re kind of a one-issue party,” he said.

Super said they are seeking candidates to compete in legislative races. He said that when he ran for the state Senate in Minneapolis, he got about 24% of the vote.

The other big party is the Legalize Cannabis party, which is planning a caucus at the Falcon Heights City Hall, 2077 Larpenteur Ave. W. Registration is from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, followed by the caucus. For those unable to attend in person, the party will also have a Zoom virtual caucus on Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 6:00 PM

Details on the major party caucuses are available on the Minnesota Secretary of State website: caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us.

Unlike Minnesota, caucuses are not required by law in North Dakota.

However, those party members are also kicking off election season starting in February with provincial and legislative district conventions to elect delegates to the state conventions and nominate legislative candidates for the June primaries and the fall general election.

State communications director Laura Dronen said the Cass County Democratic Convention will take place on Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. and will be virtual. She said delegates will be elected to the state convention on March 24-27 in Minot, and legislative districts will meet separately to nominate candidates for the state house and senate.

More details about the provincial convention and the link to the Zoom meeting will be available before the provincial meeting.

Jacob Striden, regional chairman of the state Republican Party, said the Cass County Republican Convention will be on Tuesday, Feb. 22, beginning at 5 p.m. at the PRACS Building, 4837 Amber Valley Parkway S.

He said the participants will nominate delegates to the state convention and may listen to candidates for state office. Some legislative districts will approve candidates for the primary and fall elections.

Some legislative districts have already approved candidates or will at other times, Striden said.

A few of the districts will have to reorganize this year due to restrictions after the 2020 census, he noted.

The State Republican Convention is April 1-2 at the Bismarck Events Center.

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