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Update: Cook County residents speak up at local caucuses

Caucuses were held Feb. 6 in Cook County. Photo by Pat Campanaro
Caucuses were held Feb. 6 in Cook County. Photo by Pat Campanaro

At two venues in Grand Marais on Tuesday night, Feb. 6, Cook County residents voiced their opinions on who should be Minnesota’s next governor and other issues relevant to the county, state and nation.

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor and Republican parties each held precinct caucuses Tuesday night. The idea of a caucus is to allow people to weigh in on various candidates seeking party endorsements, debate party platforms and choose delegates for upcoming conventions.

For the Republicans in Cook County, Jeff Johnson and Mary Giuliani Stephens led the straw poll, with three votes for Tim Pawlenty, according to Mary Petz, the chair of the local GOP.

For the Democrats in Cook County, State Auditor Rebecca Otto led the way with 65 votes regarding who should be the next governor of Minnesota. Tim Walz collected 16 votes.

Across the state, where the complete results from Tuesday night can be found by clicking here, Walz came in first for DFL party.

For the GOP, where complete state results can be found here, Johnson came in first.

On the local level, Cook County resident Pat Campanaro said Tuesday night was a “huge caucus success.” She noted that approximately 150 were in attendance for the DFL event, which was held at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

Petz said there were approximately 17 people in attendance at the local GOP event. 

For the GOP Caucus in Cook County, the event was held in the log building of the community center. Also Tuesday night, resolutions passed by the GOP included:
--Pregnant women should be able to view their ultrasounds

--Charge those crossing into the US from Mexico $10 in order to pay for a border wall

--Allow precious metals mining that is environmentally responsible

--Do not allow sanctuary cities in Minnesota

--Adopt 12 year term limits for Congress and Senate

--Pass a presidential line item veto

--Pass the Modern Employment Reform, Improvement and Transportation Act

--Defund Sanctuary Cities

--Enhance and Harden the Electric Grid from an EMP attack

--Pass the Sanctity of Life Act 3676

--Repeal the Johnson Amendment and Repeal Obamacare Health Plans

--The GOP also put forth the notion to ‘Support passage of US House Resolution 195 that expresses the commitment of the House of Representatives to conservative environmental stewardship’ failed.

In addition, 15 delegates and alternates were selected to attend the March 15 GOP county convention where these above resolutions will be passed on or not to the 8th District Convention in May.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, this is all of the information WTIP was provided regarding the local caucuses. 

On Thursday, Feb. 8, WTIP was sent the following information from the DFL Caucus:

John Thompson, the DFL unit chairman, called the meeting promptly to order at 7 p.m. A variety of proclamations were read by Thompson, Campanaro and Jack Willis. 

Willis is a member of the YMCA’s Youth in Government Program and volunteered to help.

Candidate letters were read supporting Erin Murphy for governor, Rob Ecklund, State Representative, Rick Nolan and Leah Phifer for Congress.

A total 16 separate resolutions were submitted and approved by DFL members, according to Campanaro. Nine of these resolutions opposed copper nickel mining in some manner.

Other resolution topics included removing the deadline for ratification of the ERA, granting amnesty to DACA participants, overturning Citizens United and proving transparency in campaign finance and one endorsing Leah Phifer for Congress.