On Saturday, March 17, more than 65 registered Republican voters gathered at the Caldwell County courthouse in Kingston to choose their presidential nominee… sort of. Little more than a month after voters went to the polls to cast their ballots in a non-binding, presidential preference primary, politicians in counties all over Missouri asked them to choose again, only this time by holding a caucus.
A caucus is an event where the members of a specific political party gather to select delegates to represent them. However, unlike a traditional primary, where voters simply stroll in, cast a vote, and walk out, caucuses encourage candidates to campaign on site. When the campaigning is complete, voters choose the delegates they would like to send on to the state nominating convention in Springfield on June 1. The number of delegates allowed varies from one county to another and is determined by the number of people who voted in 2008; consequently a four-member slate was up for grabs in Caldwell County.
By design, the caucus is intended to be an orderly, efficient affair. However, things in Kingston did not go according to plan. Ron Paul supporters attempted to take control of the meeting early on by challenging Chairman Richard Lee’s presentation of the rules when the proceedings opened- a standard part of caucus procedure. But as they argued with the Lee, things quickly became contentious.
For the complete article, see the March 21 issue of The Caldwell County News