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Midterm elections kick off with precinct caucuses

Midterm precinct caucuses were held across the state on Monday, and though there aren’t any presidential candidates to debate, a hotly contested gubernatorial and Congressional race is expected in Iowa. Several other state offices are also up for election.

The Primary for these elections will be held June 5, with the general election to follow Nov. 6. With the unusually high number of candidates who have put forward their name for governor especially, as well as Congressmen and women, many expect the elections to be close.

If no candidate receives more than 35 percent of the primary vote in a particular race, the decision will be made by delegates at the party’s state convention on June 14, who begin their process by being selected as delegates at local precinct caucuses like these. This was how Congressman David Young was selected as the Republican candidate to the general election in 2014.

Union County Republicans

Union County Republicans Chairman Joe Owens said 28 individuals attended Monday’s caucus held at Southwestern Community College – less than usual on account of that day’s inclement weather.

“And what we do at our caucus is select delegates to the county convention,” said Owens. “And then at the county convention, we go over platform proposals and select delegates to the district and the state convention – and that’s primarily what we do.

“Naturally,” Owens continued, “we do open up the floor to anyone who wants to speak on behalf of a candidate. We did have two individuals that spoke on behalf of Gov. Reynolds, but unfortunately, because of the weather there were no other people really there than that – so it was pretty quick and painless.”

Owens concluded by urging voters to remain aware and utilize their right. Voter turnout for midterm elections is often 20 to 30 percent lower than that for presidential elections.

“I understand it’s a midterm election cycle,” said Owens, “but these elections are just as important as the year of the presidential election. All of our representatives, our state representatives, our county representatives – they’re all very important representatives and people need to pay attention and get out and vote.”

Union County Democrats

The Union County Democrats’ caucus was held Monday at the mealsite in the Creston restored Depot. Former Union County Democrats Chairman Marcia Fulton, now elected representative to the state central committee, said 58 individuals were in attendance.

Fulton said she was pleased with the turnout, and reported that all the Union County precincts were fully represented and delegates selected for the county convention.

“We have so many outstanding candidates running for governor and for the third district,” Fulton said, “that people were really just more interested in hearing about the candidates in general than anything else.

“So we shared the information on the candidates,” Fulton continued, “elected our temporary chair, Tiffany Dale, and we went about the business of the caucus. And really, caucuses are about party building. Because of the presidential race, each time we think about the candidate selection, but that really isn’t the purpose – its’ really a party-building thing.”

Fulton, like Owens, concluded by stressing the importance of voters getting active and getting out to support their candidates.

“So many people don’t get involved or excited or even check it out, but they need to start paying attention pretty soon,” Fulton said. “There’s so much going on, whether it’s in Des Moines or even Washington. But it’s certainly a time when people have strong views. Now is the time to speak up and get your interest out there. It’s time to take a serious look about what’s happening in our state and in our nation.”

Who’s running?

Governor, Republican: Kim Reynolds, Ron Corbett, Steven Ray.

Governor, Democrat: Nate Boulton, Cathy Glasson, Fred Hubbell, Andy McGuire, Jon Neiderbach, John Norris, Ross Willburn.

Governor, Libertarian: Marco Battaglia, Jake Porter.

Secretary of State, Republican: Paul Pate.

Secretary of State, Democrat: Deidre DeJear, Jim Mowrer.

Treasurer, Republican: John Thompson.

Treasurer, Democrat: Mike Fitzgerald.

Auditor, Republican: Mary Mosiman.

Auditor, Democrat: Rob Sand.

Attorney General, Republican: None announced.

Attorney General, Democrat: Tom Miller.

Secretary of Agriculture, Republican: Craig Lang, Ray Gaesser, Mike Naig.

Secretary of Agriculture, Democrat: Tim Gannon.

U.S. House, 3rd District, Republican: David Young.

U.S. House, 3rd District, Democrat: Pete D’Alessandro, Cindy Axne, Austin Frerick, Theresa Greenfield, Paul Knupp, Eddie Mauro.

Information per the Des Moines Register.

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