January 23, 2014

Republicans and Democrats gather for the Iowa Caucuses

The Oskaloosa Herald

---- — OSKALOOSA — Mahaska County Republicans and Democrats gathered Tuesday night for the Iowa Caucuses to elect delegates and create platform planks for their respective county conventions.

Republicans gathered at 11 sites around the county while the Democrats assembled at the Mahaska County Courthouse.

The party members elected people to their county central committees, and selected delegates and alternates to attend their party’s county convention.

The Republicans in Oskaloosa’s 1st Ward gathered at the Iowa State University Extension office.

“We’re going to elect two people to serve on the central committee, and five delegates and five alternates to the county convetion,” Temporary Chairman Phil Porter said. He was soon elected to be the permanent chairman of the 1st Ward caucus.

The 1st Ward Republicans also voted on platform planks that were submitted to the party for consideration at the county convention. The Mahaska County Republican convention will be held at 1 p.m., March 8, at the third-floor meeting room of the Mahaska County Courthouse.

There were five 1st Ward people nominated to serve on the Republican Central Committee. After a secret ballot, Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt and Phil Porter were elected to serve on the Central Committee. The Mahaska County Republican Central Committee meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the third-floor meeting room of the courthouse.

Next, six 1st Ward people were nominated to serve as county convention delegates. The five people elected as delegates were Jeff Ridenour, Holly Ridenour, Porter, Krutzfeldt and Chuck Watson. The five convention alternates elected were Nik Rule, Paul Price, Suzy Price, Pat Franje and Lauren McMahan.

The group also approved several proposed party platform planks. Those planks include: Impeach the president, focus on creating more jobs in the U.S., get rid of or reform the Affordable Care Act, budget reform so it conforms to The Constitution, leave the Second Amendment alone, marriage be between one man and one woman, stop abortion, enforce border security and complete the border fence, conduct random drug tests to be eligible for government assistance, decrease EPA regulatory power that would hinder business growth, ensure the U.S. military serves the U.S. and not the U.N., set term limits for Congress, give military chaplains the freedom of speech to use the terms “God,” “Jesus” etc., and ensure the V.A. recognizes and follows the First Amendment.

The Mahaska County Democratic Party gathered at the courthouse and then divided themselves by township and Oskaloosa city wards for the caucus.

Party officials read a letter from Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Scott Brennon.

“Tonight is the first step toward a strong grassroots effort. Elections are not a spectator sport,” he wrote.

The Democrats elected county convention delegates and sent their selections to a central computer for transmission to party officials.

The Mahaska County Democrats have a full slate of events ahead of them too.

The Committee on Committees and the Platform Committee will meet on Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Smokey Row. The Mahaska County Democratic Convention will be held on March 8 at the Oskaloosa Senior High School, south door.