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Faribault county hosts caucuses
February 11, 2018

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The Republican party held their precinct caucus on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the Blue Earth Area High School Commons. A total of 46 voters participated in a straw poll to gauge local opinion on the gubernatorial race.

Jeff Johnson, the 2014 Republican nominee for governor and current Hennepin County commissioner, placed first in the local poll and received 18 votes.

Meanwhile, Woodbury mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens finished second as she collected 13 votes. Blue Earth native and United States Navy veteran Phillip Parrish rounded out the top three with 12 votes.

Former chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota Keith Downey received a single vote. He was the only other candidate who received consideration in the poll.According to Republican caucus convener Bill Erickson, the low turnout number was to be expected. By comparison, a total of 340 votes were received at the 2016 Faribault County GOP Caucus.

Turnout for the 2016 Republican caucus was far higher given the fact it was a presidential election year. In addition, the caucus featured a large pool of Republican candidates running for president.

That year, it was Ted Cruz who finished first in the Republican caucus with 135 votes. Ironically, eventual president Donald Trump finished in third place with 68 votes locally.

Despite the small turnout, Erickson still stressed the state-wide importance of this year's election season.

"We will be electing a new governor and a new congressman in the First District this fall, as neither incumbent is running," Erickson said. "As well as having both our U.S. Senator seats up for election at the same time."

"It's really quite a big year for us as Minnesotans to hopefully change the balance of power in our state," he continued.

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