In the months to come, the voters of Minnesota will be learning more about prospective candidates for a variety of offices at the local, state and national level.
Some of them will have a much more direct impact on the people whose names will appear on election ballots, as they participate in county, district and state conventions.
It all started last Tuesday (Feb. 6). That night at 7 p.m. precinct caucus events were held throughout the state, including Redwood County, with major party events for the Democrats and Republicans.
The Redwood County DFL met at the Redwood Falls Public Library.
According to Ted Suss, who is a leader in the Redwood County DFL, there were more than 40 people in attendance, adding that is good for a non-presidential election year.
During the caucus event, a straw poll was taken of those who have declared their intent to run for governor in Minnesota. Those attending the DFL caucus overwhelmingly voted for Tim Walz (22 votes), with Erin Murphy (10 votes) coming in second. Chris Coleman received five votes, and Rebecca Otto received three votes.
In addition to hosting the precinct caucuses Tuesday night, the Redwood County DFL also held its county convention. During the convention, delegates to the Seventh Congressional District convention were elected, as were delegates to the state convention.
The delegates are Ted Suss of Lucan, Paul Sobocinski of Wabasso and Nancy Rebstock of Sanborn. In addition, Gerald Patten and Janet Marti were elected to serve as alternates to the district and state conventions.
According to Suss, during the caucus and county convention there were several resolutions adopted, including those addressing conservation programs and crop insurance subsidy reform in the farm bill, calling for a MNCare buy in and a single payer system in healthcare, local control of planning and zoning as it relates to large ag structures and one resolution calling for the state to pay for a larger share of post-secondary tuition costs.
Gerald Patten was also reelected to serve as chair of the Redwood County DFL.
Redwood County Republicans met in four locations Feb. 6, including Redwood Falls, Morgan, Lamberton and Wabasso.
According to Leonard Runck, chair of the Redwood County Republican committee, turnout was average to light at those locations.
A straw poll of the Republican candidates for governor was also taken, with Jeff Johnson receiving 13 votes, Keith Downey receiving six votes and Phillip Parrish receiving four. Runck said while Johnson was the winner of the straw poll, 13 votes were “undecided.”
Many of those voters indicated they were going to support Tim Pawlenty for the endorsement. Runck said this happened following the announcement by Pawlenty that he was leaving his current post in the financial services industry signaling that he is weighing in on another run for governor.
Delegates and alternates to the Redwood County convention were elected. That convention is being held Feb. 24 at the Redwood Area Community Center in Redwood Falls starting at 2 p.m. Sen. Gary Dahms is scheduled to convene the meeting.