Green River Star -

By David Martin

County GOP hosts precinct caucuses


Super Tuesday fever struck in Sweetwater County for the county’s GOP.

Several dozen Republican party supporters gathered at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs to choose delegates for the upcoming county convention, which takes place March 12 at WWCC’s Green River Center. Those delegates will then vote for a representative to send to the Republican National Convention. In Wyoming, the GOP divide the 23 counties into 12 districts, with Sweetwater and Carbon Counties forming the local district. Sweetwater County will choose the delegate to represent both counties.

“This is the process where things change,” Bill Hooley, the Sweetwater GOP chairman said while welcoming supporters.

Hooley said the precinct caucuses are the place where people can have a say in the party’s platform. Choices made during the caucuses are then forwarded to the county convention and with enough support, are carried further to the state convention and party representatives. With a near-capacity gathering in WWCC’s 1302 lecture room, Hooley said he was excited to see the evening’s turnout.

The group was divided into the precincts they reside in, with each precinct receiving a set number of delegates based on the number of GOP voters participating in the last U.S. House of Representatives election. While no one representing the presidential candidates attended the event, discussion about the GOP’s presidential candidates still dominated many precincts.

For some residents, attending the gathering was an opportunity to learn how the process works while voicing their support for their chosen candidate.

Zach Avery and Nathan Williams, both of Rock Springs, attended the precinct caucus for the first time Tuesday night. Both attended in support of Donald Trump and were not alone in their support throughout the caucuses. Avery said he likes Trump’s business experience, while Williams believes Trump will treat the “little guys” well throughout the nation because he built his fortunes using the hard work of many people throughout his business ventures. Both also said they like Trump’s attitude, believing he is much better than other politicians in speaking about what’s on his mind. However, not everyone attending were enamored with Trump’s political persona.

“It all comes down to power,” Elizabeth Bringham, another caucus attendee from Rock Springs said. “All he cares about is power.”

Elizabeth and her husband Eric attended in support of Ted Cruz. For many people at the caucus, the Constitution and ensuring the document’s provisions are followed were important issues to them. While speaking with a number of Trump supporters, Elizabeth said maintaining party’s principles and positions is more important than electing someone who will win an election. John Kolb, a Sweewtater County Commissioner and attendee representing a different precinct, disagrees with her thoughts.

“The fact is, losing gets you nothing,” Kolb said.

At the end of the evening, delegates and alternatives were selected for the county convention and while a number of people disagreed with each other regarding who the nominee should be, their debates never lacked civility. While standing up to deliver Precinct 3-5’s delegate list with her husband, Elizabeth verbally mentioned how everyone got along despite their differing opinions.

“It’s something you don’t see in Washington,” Eric replied.


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