Table

Neighbors discuss the issues and their presidential candidates around a table at the Republican caucus at La Crescent High School on March 1, 2016.

Tuesday, Feb. 6, is caucus night across Minnesota and local party activists are urging their neighbors to make their voices heard by participating in their precinct caucus.

Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. before the caucuses start at 7 p.m. at the four Democratic Party locations and at the five Republican Party locations.

Participants will have an opportunity to vote a preference ballot for their candidate for governor and in the 1st Congressional District race, where incumbent Democrat Tim Walz is running for governor.

But as Houston County Republican Party Chairman Jason Reiland pointed out, “voting for a candidate is only one part of a caucus.”

Participants also get to debate give their input on issues that go on to shape the party platform while also voting for delegates to send to county conventions.

“We want to get people at the caucus so they get a chance to participate in the political process,” Reiland said.

Candidates for various public offices may drop by the Houston County Caucuses said Reiland and Houston County DFL chair Teresa O’Donnell-Ebner.

Ebner said that although the votes on caucus night for candidates for public office are non-binding they serve as a “good way to take the pulse” of the electorate. She’s expecting a good turnout at this year’s caucuses from DFL supporters.

“I think people are energized and I think they want to do something, they want to act and they want to show what they stand for,” she said.

Reiland, meanwhile, said “the mood is strong” in the Houston County GOP, but at least on the issue of participation in the caucuses agreed with O’Donnell-Ebner that participation is key for anyone who wants to make their voice heard.

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Coulee Courier and Houston County News editor

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