MARSHALL - A strong Lyon County Republican contingent met Saturday to elect delegates and debate resolutions drawn up at the Feb. 7 caucuses.
"The convention is the basic organizing activity at the local level," said David Sturrock, one of the convention organizers. "This spring there are 130 party conventions around the state. We hear from speakers, often our legislators, elect delegates to state and district conventions and hear resolutions. We recruit and encourage people to be more active and support our candidates."
Kris Shover, convention co-chair, has been active for only the past two years and describes herself as still learning the ropes.
Photo by Steve Browne
District 21 Sen. Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls speaks to the audience during Saturday’s Lyon County Republican Convention at the Marshall Area YMCA as Mary Meffert looks on.
"In just the two years I've been involved I've seen a lot of new people getting involved," Shover said. "People were just living their own lives and letting government do what it wanted until they woke up and saw government getting too big and involving itself in everyday aspects of their lives."
Shover hopes to be a delegate to this year's state convention but plans to attend regardless.
According to co-chair Robert Meffert, though the nominating process has been contentious, he predicts Republicans will unite around the eventual nominee.
Lyon County Republican delegates elected Saturday to go the Minnesota State
Marty Seifert, David Sturrock, Robert Meffert, Arlene Lesewski, Chris Swedzinski, Paula Kneeland, Layle French, Debbie Clark, Drake Snell, and Jenny Hulsizer.
Delegates to the 7th Congressional District Convention:
Meffert, Seifert, Gwen Sturrock, Lesewski, Clark, Jessica Swedzinski, Kris Shover, French, Kneeland, and Snell.
The Minnesota State Republican Convention will be May 18-19 in St. Cloud. Delegates to the National Republican Convention will be elected from both the District and the State conventions. Resolutions from the counties go through the District Convention and proceed to the State Convention for final approval to the Standing Platform.
"Every election is important," Meffert said, "it's where we regenerate what we started in 1776. At this point, as far as I can say, this is not what the Founders intended. Obama is uniting Republicans. To the extent Obama has lived up to his campaign, he's given us change, but not what we wanted. We will unite around whoever the nominee is."
According to Meffert, conventions are the grassroots principle of representative democracy at work, and a way for people to influence their representatives.
Legislators who came to listen included District 21 Sen. Gary Dahms, of Redwood Falls, and District 21A Representative Chris Swedzinski, of Ghent.
Speaking from the podium, Dahms asked the audience if after a $6 billion stimulus anybody could say they saw any positive effect on the economy and their personal situation.
Swedzinski said the local economy in Minnesota is strong, but people are threatened by high energy prices.
"Families are hurting," Swedzinski said. "We've got folks who have jobs and are afraid of losing them, and folks looking for work who can't find it."
Swedzinski said he will be a delegate to the state convention, but did not say he had committed to any candidate.
"We'll be looking at them all," Swedzinski said.