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Hastings' caucus results similar to rest of state - Seifert and Anderson Kelliher

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Hastings Star Gazette
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Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

The votes were quite similar to statewide results when precinct caucus attendees in Hastings cast their straw ballot votes for governor Tuesday night.

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Speaker of the House of Representatives Margaret Anderson Kelliher "won" the DFL straw vote for governor with 16 votes among Hastings people. Statewide, she was a very close second to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. Coming in second locally was "Uncommitted," with nine votes, followed by Rep. Steve Kelley with seven votes. The remainder of the votes were distributed among the other candidates - Rybak received three votes.

On the Republican side, Rep. Marty Seifert led the voting with 69 percent. A distant second, with 25 percent of the votes, was Rep. Tom Emmer.

Results of the straw polls are considered non-binding.

Hastings DFL party caucus convener Danna Elling Schultz said between 50 and 60 people attended the Tuesday-night DFL caucus at Hastings Middle School.

"2008 was a huge year with the presidential election," she said. "We did not have that number but the straw ballot is a good indicator who might be the candidate for governor."

When the caucus convened, it did so as large group. It then broke into the smaller ward groups where people discussed issues, passed resolutions and elected delegates to the county convention.

The Fourth Ward, of which Elling Schultz is a resident, discussed and passed resolutions regarding education, health care and Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unallotment to balance the budget.

"They want that changed," Elling Schultz said.

State Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, attended the caucus for a short period and spoke about the 2010 legislative session.

The county convention will be held Saturday, March 13.

About 80 people attended the Republican caucus at Hastings High School. Those who attended included Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings.

"The straw vote showed a pretty strong preference for Seifert," he said.

The numbers were down at the Republican caucus, compared to two years ago.

"We had less, but were happy with the number who came," McNamara said. "From what I was hearing, people were talking about suggesting the country take a new direction - that the spending change."

There were some young people (younger than the voting age), McNamara said.

"They came to observe what was happening," he said. "I am aware of at least one who will be old enough to vote at the elections."

Delegates were elected to the county convention scheduled for Feb. 27 in South St. Paul. The Second District convention, where the endorsements will be made, will be held March 20 at Red Wing High School.

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Jane Lightbourn
(651) 319-4503
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