Along with the rest of the state, precinct-level Democratic Farmer/Labor Party caucuses will convene in central Minnesota at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4.
Precinct caucuses for local residents include the following: St. Joseph Precincts 1 and 2, St. Joseph and St. Wendel townships meet at Kennedy Discovery School; St. Joseph Township Precinct 2 meets at Discovery; and Collegeville Townships Precincts 1 and 2 meet at the P. Engel Science Center, St. John’s University.
District 13 encompasses 47 city and rural precincts in western Benton and eastern Stearns Counties, including Sartell, St. Joseph and Avon cities, and surrounding rural Stearns County townships. Party caucuses are held in February each election year and represent the kick-off of the political campaign season for both major Minnesota political parties. For both political parties, the caucuses are the occasions for choosing local party leaders, discussion and voting on resolutions for possible inclusion in the state party platforms, as well as election of delegates to district conventions.
Two DFL candidates have announced their intentions for the 6th Congressional District House seat, now occupied by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater), who announced she will not seek a fifth term. The two candidates who are seeking the DFL endorsement for that seat are Sartell mayor Joe Perske and St. John’s University professor Jim Read, a resident of Avon.
Four Republican candidates – Tom Emmer, Rhonda Sivarajah; Phil Krinkie; and Allan Levene – are vying for the Republican endorsement for that 6th District Congressional seat.
Precinct caucuses are open to the public but in order to vote, offer resolutions or become a delegate, attendees must be eligible to vote in the next general election, live in the precinct and be in general agreement with the principles of the political party.
DFL party information
DFL Chairman Ken Martin said precinct caucuses are a great way for people to meet their neighbors, discuss issues important to their community and serve as the unofficial start to the 2014 election season.
“DFLers have a lot to talk about as we get ready to reelect Gov. Dayton, Sen. Franken, our congressional delegation, and a House DFL majority,” Martin said. “Gov. Dayton said he would Build a Better Minnesota and with the support of DFL legislators and Minnesotans, that’s what he has done. And despite Washington being far too paralyzed and dominated by special interests, Sen. Franken has been effective for Minnesota by finding commonsense solutions to the issues that matter most to our families. I encourage DFLers to come together Feb. 4 and talk about these accomplishments.
“Gov. Dayton turned a $5.5 billion budget deficit into a surplus, more Minnesotans are working since he took office, Minnesota has a fairer tax system, and people are free to marry who they love. Minnesota has the fifth fastest growing state economy in the U.S. With free all-day kindergarten for all students, a tuition freeze at state colleges and universities and affordable, accessible health care for every Minnesotan, Gov. Dayton and DFL leaders have made investments that will provide long-term prosperity for the state.”
Martin said Sen. Franken held insurance companies accountable by forcing them to spend people’s premium dollars on actual health care, not things like marketing or CEO salaries.
“Sen. Franken passed legislation to help make sure our medications are safe and is working to protect Americans’ privacy as technology makes more of our personal information accessible,’ Martin said. “He is also a fearless advocate for middle class families — whether it’s strengthening the economy by bringing businesses and community colleges together to fill high-skilled jobs, fighting to protect Social Security and Medicare, or working to address college affordability.”
For those new to the precinct caucus process, the Minnesota DFL has developed a video, “What to expect at a precinct caucus.” It can be viewed on the Party’s website at www.dfl.org under “Find Your District.” The website also features a precinct caucus locator for people unsure of where their precinct caucus is held.
All political parties in Minnesota hold caucuses in precincts across the state, at the same time, on the same night, for the same purpose.
For more information, call Buzz Snyder, Senate District 13 DFL chair, at 320-250-4414.
Additional local caucus locations are as follows:
St. Stephen, Sartell Precincts 1-7 and Brockway and LeSauk townships: DFL meets at Sartell High School; Republicans meet at Sartell Middle School.
Avon Township Precincts 1 and 2: DFL and Republicans meet at Avon Elementary School.