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Local political parties will hold caucuses next week with several wrinkles thanks to COVID-19 and redistricting. These grassroots organizational meetings happen on Tuesday, February 1. Locations (and whether or not they’re in person) vary depending on the political party.
Caucuses are an opportunity to endorse candidates for state/congressional offices, introduce and support issues for party platforms, and select party delegates. Most parties will also have a straw poll for their governor endorsement (it’s not a binding vote, but it can give candidates momentum leading into party conventions). If you want a say in how political parties are run, the issues they support, and the candidates who run, you should attend the Precinct Caucuses.
Caucuses are party specific, so you attend the caucus of the party you want to support. Some parties have changed protocols thanks to COVID-19 and the omicron surge, with virtual or contactless options.
- Republican: Inver Grove Heights Middle School, registration starts at 6:30 p.m., caucus starts at 7 p.m.
- DFL: Holding a “contactless caucus” where you can apply to be a delegate and submit resolutions virtually or drop them off in person at Two Rivers High School or South St. Paul High School from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
- Grassroots Legalize Cannabis: Falcon Heights City Hall, registration starts at 6 p.m., caucus from 7 to 9 p.m. A virtual option is available.
- Legal Marijuana Now: Virtual meeting over Zoom from 8 to 9 p.m.
The Redistricting Wrinkle
Redistricting after the 2020 census poses a unique challenge this year because the lines for state legislative and congressional districts will likely be redrawn. How those maps are drawn will determine who voters can vote for and who can even run. For example, one of the proposed maps divides West St. Paul between two house districts. It could mean voters won’t be able to support an existing incumbent or will need to decide between two incumbents from the same party.
That uncertainty won’t be resolved until February or March, and it gives added importance to the party delegates who decide party endorsements at the local conventions this spring.
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