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Wadena County Republicans, DFLers to hold caucuses Tuesday

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At several locations in the area, Republicans and DFLers in Wadena County will gather Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the 2014 precinct caucuses, where they will discuss party platforms and elect delegates to county conventions.

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Precinct caucuses also mark the beginning of a multi-step process the parties use to nominate candidates for local, statewide and national office. It ends at state conventions, which both parties have scheduled for the last weekend in May.

The precinct caucuses are "a chance to get involved with neighbors and your community to be a part of the process of choosing candidates," said Sheldon Monson, chairman of the Wadena County Republican Party.

Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Al Franken, both DFLers, are running for reelection without primary opposition, so the DFL isn't holding a straw poll Tuesday. The Republican side is filled with challengers to the two incumbents - six Republicans are vying for the governorship and another six for the senate seat - so the party will conduct a non-binding straw poll at its caucuses.

The Republican nominees will face off at the state convention for the party's official endorsement, though the actual candidate on the November ballot will be determined in an Aug. 12 primary. Several candidates have said they will participate in the primary even if they are not endorsed by the party.

Monson said he hopes the candidates respect the party's endorsement.

Even with uncontested intraparty races for the top two DFL posts up for election, Wadena County DFL chairman Melvin Kinnunen said he hopes people show up Tuesday to elect delegates and talk about the issues.

"That's where our platform starts," he said.

Precinct caucus locations

Time: Registration at 6:30 p.m.; caucuses at 7 p.m.

DFL caucuses

Wadena:

M State Wadena

For: Wadena City Precincts 1, 2 and 3; Wadena Township; Leaf River Township Precincts 1 and 2; Wing River Township; Verndale City

Staples:

Central Lakes Community College-Staples commons area

For: Staples City; Thomastown Township; Bullard Township; Aldrich City; Aldrich Township

Sebeka:

Sebeka High School science rooms

For: Sebeka City; North Germany Township; Meadow Township; Rockwood Township; Red Eye Township; Lyons Township; Orton Township; Nimrod City

Menagha:

Menagha High school media center (use east door)

For: Menagha City; Blueberry Township; Shell River Township; Huntersville Township

Otter Tail County portion of city of Wadena, Bluffton and surrounding townships:

New York Mills county government office

Republican caucuses

Wadena:

M State Wadena cafeteria

For: Wadena Precinct 1, 2 and 3; Wadena Township; Leaf River Township

Verndale:

Verndale School library

For: Aldrich City; Aldrich Township; Bullard Township; Staples Annex; Thomastown Township; Verndale City; Wing River Township

Sebeka:

Sebeka High School media center

For: Lyons Township; Meadow Township; Nimrod City; North Germany Township; Orton Township; Red Eye Township; Rockwood Township; Sebeka City

Menagha:

Menagha City Hall

For: Blueberry Township; Huntersville Township; Menagha City; Shell River Township

Otter Tail County portion of city of Wadena, Bluffton and surrounding townships:

New York Mills High School

For caucus locations by specific address, check out http://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/.

Legislative race roundup

Two Republicans represent Wadena County in the Minnesota House and a third represents the portions of the city of Wadena that extend into Otter Tail County. Like all House members, they are up for reelection in November.

So far, no one has stepped forward to mount a DFL challenge to first-term Rep. Mark Anderson (R-Lake Shore), a Wadena native who represents House District 9A, which includes most of the county.

Freshman Rep. Steve Green (R-Fosston) will likely face DFLer David Sobieski, a northern Otter Tail County resident, in the House District 2B race. Sobieski hasn't been endorsed yet, but he launched his campaign in the fall. District 2B includes Menagha and the northern three Wadena County townships.

At this point, no DFL candidate has announced a challenge to two-term Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), who represents the small slice of Wadena in Otter Tail County. She is facing an opponent in the House District 8B Republican primary, Otter Tail County Republican chairwoman Sue Nelson of Perham.

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