Pella Chronicle

January 10, 2014

Caucuses set for Jan. 21

The Chronicle

Pella — Chances are that you will not find the New York Times or any other national news agency reporting on the mid-term Iowa Caucuses, but nevertheless, the event will be held Jan. 21.

Republicans and Democrats will hold their caucuses on the same night, with registration beginning at 6 p.m. Marion County Republicans will divide their caucus into two “super sites.” Republicans in Pella precincts 1-4, as well as Lake Prairie Township and Otley Township, will meet at Madison Elementary School, 950 East University in Pella. Those who live in Knoxville precincts 1-4, as well as the townships of Knoxville, Clay, Dallas, Indiana, Liberty, Pleasantville and Washington will meet at Knoxville Middle School, 102 North Lincoln. Participants are asked to enter KMS through the west entrance, near the school's main office.

Marion County Democrats from all precincts will caucus in a single location, Knoxville High School, 1811 West Madison, in the commons. Participants must be in line or signed in by 7 p.m. to participate.

The caucuses are open to everyone, including families and children. Those in grades seven through high school (if the individual's 18th birthday does not fall before Election Day) could be selected to serve as junior delegates at the Marion County conventions, to be held March 8. There is no limit to the number of junior delegates Marion County can have.

To actively participate and vote in either caucus, one must register as a Republican or Democrat at the appropriate caucus. Registration can be done at the caucus itself, according to Marion County Republican Party Secretary Angie Heartsill. Observers and the press are welcome, but will not be allowed to actively participate in votes. Those in attendance at the Republican caucus will be asked to wear badges to indicate their eligibility to participate.

On the Republicans' agenda is fundraising, electing central committee members, electing county convention delegates and submitting planks for the Marion County Republican platform. If you have a plank you would like to submit for the platform, Heartsill encourages bringing a typed copy with you. Writing utensils and paper will be provided for platform ideas as well.

“I really hope that people will turn out,” Heartsill said. She added that the caucus is one's best opportunity to make a difference in their government and influence decisions made at the national and state levels.

The Democrats' agenda includes proposed resolutions for the county platform, electing delegates and alternates to the county convention and electing precinct committee persons to the Marion County Central Committee.

Marion County Democratic Chair Anita Martin believes there will be a good crowd at her event. The challenges will be the weather and the fact that some residents may not care to drive to Knoxville to participate. E-mails submitted by, or on behalf, of Democratic candidates will be read at the event.

Martin hopes that young people will attend to learn the process and get involved in their local governments as much as they can.