Cruz captures Freeborn County Republican caucuses
Published 10:34 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Freeborn County Republican Party caucus-goers selected Ted Cruz as their top candidate Tuesday night in caucuses at Southwest Middle School.
Cruz, a U.S. Senator from Texas, won 218 votes, or 37.2 percent.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida finished second with 156 votes, or 26.6 percent, and Donald Trump placed third with 142 votes, or 24.2 percent.
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Ben Carson finished fourth with 40 votes, or 6.8 percent, and John Kasich finished fifth with 29 votes, or 4.9 percent.
Rubio placed first in Albert Lea wards 1 and 3; Trump captured wards 4 and 5. The two finished tied for first in Ward 2 with 17 votes each. Cruz won Ward 6.
The turnout of 585 was more than double the county’s turnout of 259 in 2012 and 258 people in 2008.
Freeborn County Republican Party Chairman Brian Hensley said he noticed a lot of first-time voters, and said the high turnout was due to three strong candidates that each bring something to the table that voters are looking for.
He said Rubio brings a fresh face and confidence, Cruz is a proven conservative and Trump is anti-establishment.
Freeborn County Republican Party Secretary Spencer Krier said he thinks the turnout is a sign people are upset and feel let down by the party’s establishment.
Albert Lea resident Donna Carlson said she was caucusing for Trump because she agrees with a lot of what he says, and he is the most capable of bringing back jobs.
She said she appreciates Trump’s refusal to be politically correct and address needed issues, including immigration.
Carlson said she thinks immigration is causing people to lose their jobs and is making it difficult for young adults to find work.
She framed her support of Trump as a matter of trust and said she doesn’t trust the other Republican candidates.
Kathy Aase and her husband, Loren, of Albert Lea said they would support a candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton.
Kathy Aase, who caucused for Rubio, said she is disgusted with the negative tone of the Republican Party, but still plans on voting for a Republican because she thinks voting for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would be worse.
She described herself as a social and moral conservative on LGBT issues and abortion, and cited former presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s support of Rubio’s candidacy as a reason why she supports him.
Loren Aase, a first-time caucus-goer, said he supports Trump because of his views on abortion, immigration and his discussing important issues. He described himself as a social conservative who wants to tighten the borders to prevent illegal immigration.
He said he attended because he was unsatisfied with the direction the country has taken with its moral structure and unsecured borders.
Albert Lea Township Precinct 1: Cruz 3, Rubio 3, Kasich 1, Trump 1
Albert Lea Township Precinct 2: No votes
Albert Lea Ward 1: Rubio 24, Cruz 21, Trump 16, Kasich 4, Carson 2
Albert Lea Ward 2: Rubio 17, Trump 17, Cruz 13, Carson 4, Kasich 2
Albert Lea Ward 3: Rubio 27, Trump 18, Cruz 14, Carson 7, Kasich 6
Albert Lea Ward 4: Trump 23, Rubio 13, Cruz 12, Carson 4, Kasich 1
Albert Lea Ward 5: Trump 13, Rubio 12, Cruz 11, Carson 3, Kasich 2
Albert Lea Ward 6: Cruz 14, Trump 8, Rubio 7, Kasich 2, Carson 1.
Alden: Cruz 12, Trump 4, Rubio 1
Alden Township: Cruz 9, Kasich 2, Trump 2, Rubio 1
Bancroft Township: Trump 11, Rubio 7, Cruz 6, Carson 2
Bath Township: Cruz 9, Carson 1, Rubio 1
Carlston Township: Rubio 5, Cruz 4, Kasich 1, Carson 1, Trump 1
Clarks Grove: Cruz 11, Carson 2, Rubio 1, Trump 1
Conger: No votes
Emmons: Cruz 3, Rubio 1
Freeborn: Cruz 2.
Freeborn Township: No votes
Freeman Township: Cruz 5, Carson 2
Geneva: Rubio 4, Cruz 3
Geneva Township: Cruz 9, Rubio 5, Carson 2, Kasich, 1
Glenville: Trump 4, Cruz 2, Carson 1, Rubio 1
Hartland: Rubio 2
Hartland Township: Cruz 3
Hayward: Cruz 1, Rubio 1
Hayward Township: Cruz 5, Rubio 3
Hollandale: Carson 3, Cruz 3, Trump 1
London Township: Rubio 4, Carson 3
Manchester: Trump 2
Manchester Township: Cruz 8, Trump 3, Carson 1
Mansfield Township: Cruz 5, Carson 1
Moscow Township: Cruz 17, Rubio 5, Kasich 3, Trump 1
Myrtle: No votes
Newry Township: Rubio 5, Carson 2, Trump 2, Kasich 1
Nunda Township: Cruz 4, Trump 3
Oakland Township: Rubio 2.
Pickerel Lake Township: Trump 7, Cruz 3, Kasich 3, Rubio 3
Riceland Township: Cruz 2, Rubio 1
Shell Rock Township: Trump 4
Twin Lakes: Cruz 2
Total Votes: Ted Cruz 218, Marco Rubio 156, Donald Trump 142, Ben Carson 40, John Kasich 29.