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Douglas County GOP, DFL to caucus soon

Douglas County Republicans and Douglas County DFLers will meet in separate locations to gear up for the election by passing resolutions, electing delegates and – most likely – talking about the 2022 race for the governor's office.

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DOUGLAS COUNTY – The next step toward the 2022 election will take place Tuesday, Feb. 1 at its most grassroots level.

It's caucus time.

Douglas County Republicans and Douglas County DFLers will meet in separate locations to gear up for the election by passing resolutions, electing delegates and – most likely – talking about the 2022 race for the governor's office.

Here are details provided by the county chairs of both major parties:

Republicans have choices to make

Republicans from all precincts in Douglas County are invited to caucus on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at the Alexandria Area High School. Proceedings will begin at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Attendees are encouraged to arrive as early as 6:30 p.m.

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Republicans attending the caucus will:

  • Vote in an informal Republican preference poll for their favorite candidate. And there are a lot of them at this point: Former congressional candidate Kendall Qualls, former Senate leader Paul Gazelka, Sen. Michelle Benson, physician Neil Shah and Scott Jensen, a physician and former senator.
  • Elect delegates and alternatives from their respective precincts to the Douglas County Republican Convention and their legislative district endorsing convention.
  • Present, discuss and act on resolutions.
  • Transact any other business.

Participants will need to know which precinct they live and vote in. While help will be available at the caucus, anyone unsure of their precinct is encouraged to verify that information beforehand by calling the county auditor's office or going to the Minnesota Secretary of State's website, https://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/

Democrats guard against COVID

Democrats in the Douglas County DFL will caucus on Feb. 1 at Discovery Middle School, 510 McKay Ave.. N, Alexandria. Registration will start at 6:30 p.m.

A preference poll will not be conducted. Incumbent Governor Tim Walz is running in the Democratic primary on Aug. 9, 2022.

Party leaders have decided to hold an in-person caucus meeting for those who want to join and participate face to face. But given the ongoing challenges with COVID-19, restrictions will be in in place.

Masks will be required of all attendees, along with proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Attendees will asked to do their best to socially distance and to keep their masks on throughout the meeting. The Minnesota State DFL party mandates this.

Attendees will not be allowed to stay for the caucus without proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. However, they will be allowed to complete the non-attendee form and/or resolution forms in the lobby.

Each precinct will elect delegates and alternates for the Douglas County DFL convention in late March or early April. These delegates will also represent their precinct in the district representing them after redistricting. Those conventions will be scheduled after the redistricting has been determined.

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Caucus attendees will also discuss and pass resolutions.

Anyone who wants to participate but would prefer not to join the in-person caucus can submit a non-attendee form and resolutions in advance; or these forms can be dropped off caucus night at Discovery Middle School.

Resolution and non-attendee forms can be filled out and left at registration on caucus night for anyone who would prefer not to stay that evening. These forms will also be available in advance and can be submitted electronically or dropped off caucus night at Discovery Middle School.

Resolutions and/or non-attendee forms can be submitted to Bonnie Bina, Douglas County DFL Chair, bonniebina.dfl@gmail.com or mailed to PO Box 21, Alexandria, MN 56308. Completed forms can also be dropped off caucus night 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Resolution and non-attendee forms are available at: https://dfl.org/partydocuments/

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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