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SRO For Palo Alto County Republicans

By Staff | Jan 8, 2008

Palo Alto County Republicans filled the auditorium at Iowa Lakes Community College for the Jan. 3 first-in-the-nation Iowa Presidential Caucuses.

In fact, there was such a good turnout of Republicans, people were left standing on the stairs and in the hallways before breaking off to one of ten precinct gatherings.

“It was a fabulous turnout,” said Caucus Chair Gennifer Scott of Emmetsburg.

The first people showed up at 5:45 p.m. for the caucus which was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. From that time on, people just kept arriving until there was a sea of people.

“We were thrilled with the turnout,” said Scott. “The number of people who wanted to be a part of it was fantastic. We saw a lot of people who aren’t normally a part of the process.”

Republicans filed down the hallway to register and receive their Presidential Preference caucus ballot. Thursday night, 52 people registered as Republicans, switching either from the Democrat party or changing from Independent.

As with the state of Iowa in general, Palo Alto County Republicans turned out in record number. The crowd at Iowa Lakes was estimated at 300 voters.

Lanny Miller, Palo Alto County Republican Chairman, opened the caucus. Republicans elected Gennifer Scott as Caucus Chair and Kim Campbell as Secretary.

Before the vote, six candidates were endorsed. David, from New York City, spoke on behalf of Senator John McCain.

“I’m from New York City and I’ve never been in a room with so many Republicans before,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of Sen. McCain, “He demonstrated that service to America is paramount…He is an advocate for the life of the unborn.”

Lanny Miller spoke on behalf of candidate Fred Thompson. “He is a true Republican. He has a plan…He always refers to what ‘we’ can do.”

Mike Scott spoke on behalf of candidate Mitt Romney. “He has extraordinary credentials and he has good business skills. He must have learned it from his dad, George Romney of Michigan.”

Missy Schutz spoke on behalf of Mike Huckabee. “He comes from us, an average person, who wants to go back to what America is supposed to be.”

Harry Saftlas spoke on behalf of Duncan Hunter. “I am impressed by his stances. We will never be disappointed. He will never quit.”

Mike Hollingsworth spoke on behalf of Ron Paul. “He represents the future for our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. He understands the government role as set out by the Constitution.”

Palo Alto County Republicans followed the state with the top three candidates. Local Republicans favored Mitt Romney, followed closely by Mike Huckabee. Coming in third was Fred Thompson, followed by John McCain, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani and Paul Hunter.

Delegates and alternates were elected to the Palo Alto County Republican County Convention. The convention is 9 a.m. Saturday, March 8, in the cafeteria of Iowa Lakes Community College.

Ten delegates and five alternates were elected, the numbers based on the number of voters in the last presidential election. Emmetsburg Ward I delegate is John Spies, with Brian Campbell as alternate. Emmetsburg Ward 2, Craig Merrill. Emmetsburg Ward 3, Missy Schutz. Emmetsburg Ward 4, David VanOosbree, with Mark Harnden as alternate. Precinct 5 delegate is Dan Montag. Precinct 6 delegate is Tim Fakler. Precinct 7 delegate is Jeff Miller, with Jody Cain as alternate. Precinct 8 delegate is Neil Hayen. Precinct 9 delegate is Frances Schealler, with Doris Schealler as alternate. Precinct 10 delegate is Greg Tangeman, with Teresa Tangeman as alternate. Junior delegates are BriAnna Campbell and Aleysha Schutz.

A number of platforms were presented for discussion at the County Convention. Topics included illegal immigration, pro-life resolution, ethical stem cell research, energy and transportation issues, English as the official language, increase investment in science and mathematics education, defending America and its allies, support marriage between one man and one woman, and the chronic disease resolution.

“People are looking at the economy, taxes, immigration, right to life and marriage,” said Scott. “We look forward to great discussion at the county convention.”

After the County Convention in March, the Republican District Convention will be held in Fort Dodge and the State Convention in Des Moines. The Republican National Convention will be held in Minneapolis this September.

“Our caucus was a wonderful success, more than I ever dreamed. All in all, it went so fast,” said Scott.

The Iowa Caucus is the springboard for the grassroots election process, with volunteers campaigning for their candidates. The presidential selection process has begun.

Republican Preferences:

Mitt Romney — 76

Mike Huckabee — 74

Fred Thompson — 68

John McCain — 44

Ron Paul — 23

Rudy Giuliani — 8

Paul Hunter — 2