Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee emerged as Whitman County’s picks for their respective parties’ presidential candidates during Saturday afternoon’s caucuses.
The hotly contested race for the Democratic nominee pumped up caucus attendance from the local party, especially at the campus caucus, according to party chair Carolyn Cress, chair of the county Democratic party.
“The turn-out was amazing, even with a Wazzu basketball game people came out in droves,” said Cress.
Cress estimated almost 1,000 Democrats caucused for their candidates throughout the county.
Nearly 200 Whitman County Republicans caucused Saturday, with the bulk of the delegates backing Huckabee.
“We had great support from all the camps,” said Susan Fagan, chair of the county Republicans.
“Everyone I talked to said they had more people than ever show up.”
Roughly 60 people showed up at the six-precinct Democratic caucus at the Public Service building in Colfax. Obama took 10 delegates to the April 19 county convention, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton logged three and one delegate tabbed uncommitted.
Upstairs in the same building, Clinton took two delegates and Obama added one more from the Wilcox and LaCrosse precincts.
Countywide, Obama garnered 142 delegates to the county convention, Clinton took 40 and four remained undecided. Obama took 67.5 percent of the state’s delegates while Clinton posted 31.2 percent.
The county convention will select delegates to the 5th Congressional District Convention May 17 where delegates will be selected to the June 15 state convention in Spokane.
At the six-precinct Colfax Republican caucus in Sterling Savings Bank, Huckabee took five delegates, Texas Rep. Ron Paul took three, Arizona Sen. John McCain took two and two were uncommitted.
Huckabee’s 29 delegates from the county total gave him an edge over McCain’s 20, Paul’s 19, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 10 and 8 undecided.
Despite Huckabee’s strong showing in Whitman County, McCain topped statewide results.
With 96 percent of precincts reporting, McCain took 25.6 percent of the state’s delegates; Huckabee had 23.3 percent, Paul 21.4 percent and Romney, who has suspended his campaign, 15.3 percent.
Republicans will send delegates to the county convention in Colfax March 8, where the party will select delegates for the May 30-31 state convention in Spokane.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
"Obama, Huckabee top county caucus tallies"
From today's Whitman County Gazette: