Caucuses bring out large crowds for GOP, Democrats at the lake but not without problems
A larger-than-expected turnout added to the air of excitement at both the Republican and Democratic caucuses at Douglas County’s Lake Tahoe precincts Saturday ” but also created a few problems.
Early Saturday at Kahle Community Center, more than 250 people attended the caucus for precincts 35 through 41. Organizers had to move the caucus onto the basketball court to make room.
Due to the large turnout for both parties, the Republicans and the Democrats ran out of ballots.
Precinct 38 Democrats had to use scratch paper for extra ballots. More than 50 people attended the caucus at Tahoe Douglas Fire Station No. 3.
Douglas County Democrats held separate caucuses at three Lake Tahoe locations, while Republicans all gathered at Kahle Community Center.
Voter Terri Zager noticed the large turnout before she entered the center.
“When I pulled in, I didn’t even bother parking up there, so I parked by the sheriff’s (office),” Zager said.
For the Republicans, presidential candidate Mitt Romney took the state of Nevada with 40 percent of the vote.
Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, a Tahoe resident, spoke on behalf of Romney at the Kahle caucuses.
“I’m inspired by him, but I will support the nominee from the Republican party,” Krolicki said.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won Nevada with roughly 50 percent of the vote.
During the Democrat’s Precinct 38 caucus, voter Leo Schools spoke in favor of Hillary Clinton.
“It’s time to have a woman as president for the United States,” Schools said.
Zager attended the Republican caucus and said the experience was exciting. She’s voted in Nevada her whole life and this was her first caucus.
“Next time, we’ll have it down pat,” Zager said.
Matt Rademaker, who also attended the Republican caucus, said this was his first caucus too. He’s lived on Kingsbury Grade on and off for 20 years, and during that time, he’s noticed a lot of political apathy in the community. The caucus motivated people to get out and be politically active, he said.
Saturday’s caucuses also determine the delegates who get to go to the county caucus. The Republicans will send 71 delegates from Lake Tahoe in Douglas county and the Democrats will send 17.
To take in the full experience, Rademaker is also a delegate for his precinct. Each precinct elected delegates to represent their precincts at the county convention March 1.
Even though the first Nevada caucus was a bit chaotic, Democratic caucus attendee Mychael Donaldson said it was interesting.
“It was confusing because more people than expected came,” Donaldson said. “But that’s a good thing.”
Statewide the caucus drew record numbers.
“Today’s caucus was a tremendous success. Well over 100,000 Nevadans got out and made their voices heard, including 69 in my hometown of Searchlight,” said Sen. Harry Reid in a press statement. ” I congratulate the Nevada Democratic Party for doing such a great job and extend my sincere appreciation to all the staff and volunteers who made Nevada proud.”
Douglas County Democrat caucus-goers at precinct 38 ended the gathering with a split of delegates this afternoon.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton each netted two delegates to the county convention in March. The precinct was at the Tahoe Douglas Fire Department. There were 56 people who turned out to the precinct for the vote.
Obama gained 28 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 25, with the votes for John Edwards split between Obama and Clinton.
With only three percent of the Democratic caucses reporting back to the state headquarters so far, Barack Obama holds the early lead with 64 percent compared to Hillary Clinton’s 28.
Check back for more.
With the GOP caucus ending at Stateline, another one begins. This time it is the Douglas County Lake Tahoe Democratic caucus.
Doors opened at 11 a.m., this morning with the caucus now underway as of 11:30 a.m. Campaign signs dotted several roads in Stateline and Zephyr Cove.
The following are precinct locations:
” Precincts 35, 36, 37: Zephyr Cove Library, 233 Warrior Way
” Precinct 38: Tahoe Douglas Fire Station No. 3, 193 Elks Point Road
” Precincts 39 and 40: Kingsbury Middle School, 1900 Echo Drive
Those who aren’t sure which precinct they’re in can find information on the Web at nvdemscaucus.com or nvgopcaucus.com.
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