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Republicans in Hastings supported Rubio at Tuesday's caucuses

It was Sen. Marco Rubio’s night in the Republican Senate District 54 caucus meetings in Hastings, Cottage Grove, Afton, Newport and Denmark Township Tuesday. He also carried the state for the Republicans.

In voting for president, Rubio received 537 votes; followed by Sen. Ted Cruz with 506 votes; Donald Trump, 372 votes; Ben Carson, 82 votes; and John Kasich, 55 votes. A total of 1,556 votes were cast.

District-wide, there were about 1,600 registered attendees at the caucuses, according to caucus coordinator Jason Fossum. A little more than 800 were meeting at Hastings High School. Some cast their presidential ballot and left; many stayed.

“We were super busy,” said Fossum. “It went really well. We had planned for more to attend this year. ”

And the crowd arrived earlier this year, he said. “The lines were long, a steady flow,” he said.

Most of the precinct caucus meetings were done debating, discussing issues and resolutions by 8:30 p.m., but one was still debating at 9:30 p.m.

“Many of the discussions were lively and energetic as people spoke for their candidates,” said Fossum. “Some people were still on the fence.”

There were a number of first-time attendees as well. Some spoke in meetings, others observed.

Rep. Denny McNamara was the lone candidate to attend and speak to people in Hastings. Fossum noted that McNamara and his wife Lynne, became volunteer helpers when several party volunteers did not arrive on time.

Issues and resolutions were discussed, delegates selected for the district convention.

”People were patient and understanding as they waited to be helped,” said Fossum. “It went well.”