Freeborn County DFLers choose Sanders

Published 10:40 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Freeborn County DFL Party Chairwoman Julie Ackland, right, sorts ballots with the help of other volunteers on Thursday night during the party's precinct caucuses. — Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Freeborn County DFL Party Chairwoman Julie Ackland, right, sorts ballots with the help of other volunteers on Thursday night during the party’s precinct caucuses. — Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Freeborn County DFLers selected Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as their winning candidate Tuesday in precinct caucuses — a choice that proved to be in line with the rest of the party across the state.

Sanders received almost 59 percent of the vote, or 259 votes, above front-runner Hillary Clinton, who received about 41 percent, or 182 votes. Three people were uncommitted to a candidate.

Party officials said they were pleased with the turnout of 444 voters at the Albert Lea Eagles Club, which rivaled with some of the party’s highest caucus turnouts. They said the last time they had seen a caucus as well-attended was in the 2008 election between Barack Obama and Clinton. At that time, there were 619 people who voted — a record for the party, according to Tribune archives.

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People were lined up throughout the Eagles Club as they waited to register and vote, and at one point the line extended outdoors. Some participants waited as long as an hour in line to cast their ballots, many caucusing for the first time.

Of the first-time caucus-goers was 20-year-old Tim Furland of Albert Lea.

Furland said the upcoming November election will be his first time voting. He said he has been following the presidential race since it started, and he supports Sanders. He likes seeing all of the people who also support him and the fact that the candidate wants to help college students like himself find jobs and get out of debt.

Furland attended University of Wisconsin-Superior for two years and is now attending Riverland Community College to finish his associate degree. He plans to pursue a physical therapy degree.

Another first-time caucus-goer was Sue Kaasa of Albert Lea, who attended the caucuses with her husband, Brian.

She said she was impressed with the turnout and hopes Clinton will receive the nomination. The time Clinton spent in the White House when her husband, Bill, was president, plus her time as Secretary of State, make her more experienced, Kaasa said.

“As a world leader, I think she’ll be best,” she said.

Richard Hoium of Albert Lea also attended the Freeborn County DFL Party caucuses for the first time.

He said he decided to caucus because he wants to help the younger generation see that there is much more that the United States can do and he hopes they learn from the country’s mistakes as they move ahead into the future.

Though he describes himself as an Independent, Hoium said he supports Clinton and said he thinks she understands politics and again referenced Bill Clinton’s time in office.

Freeborn County DFL Party Chairwoman Julie Ackland said she was pleased with the turnout and was grateful the volunteers were able to get everyone through. She apologized if anyone was not able to vote.

Because of the long lines, registration continued well past 8 p.m.; as long as people were in line by 8 p.m. they got to cast their ballots.

All votes were tabulated by about 10:20 p.m.


Freeborn County DFL Party precinct results:

Albert Lea Ward 1: 25 Clinton, 37 Sanders

Albert Lea Ward 2: 24 Clinton, 42 Sanders
Albert Lea Ward 3: 27 Clinton, 35 Sanders, 1 uncommitted
Albert Lea Ward 4: 23 Clinton, 32 Sanders
Albert Lea Ward 5: 18 Clinton, 32 Sanders, 2 uncommitted
Albert Lea Ward 6: 10 Clinton, 30 Sanders
Albert Lea Township Precinct 1: 4 Clinton, 7 Sanders
Albert Lea Township Precinct 2: 0 Clinton, 0 Sanders
Alden: 3 Clinton, 0 Sanders
Alden Township: 2 Clinton, 1 Sanders
Bancroft Township: 6 Clinton, 4 Sanders
Bath Township: 0 Clinton, 3 Sanders
Carlston Township: 2 Clinton, 1 Sanders
Clarks Grove: 2 Clinton, 1 Sanders
Conger: 0 Clinton, 0 Sanders
Emmons: 1 Clinton, 2 Sanders
Freeborn: 0 Clinton, 0 Sanders
Freeborn Township: 0 Clinton, 0 Sanders
Freeman Township: 3 Clinton, 3 Sanders
Geneva Township: 2 Clinton, 2 Sanders
Geneva: 3 Clinton, 3 Sanders
Glenville: 2 Clinton, 7 Sanders
Hartland: 1 Clinton, 2 Sanders
Hartland Township: 1 Clinton, 7 Sanders
Hayward: 0 Clinton, 3 Sanders
Hayward Township: 0 Clinton, 1 Sanders
Hollandale: 1 Clinton, 4 Sanders
London Township:0 Clinton, 5 Sanders
Manchester: 2 Clinton, 0 Sanders
Manchester Township: 4 Clinton, 4 Sanders
Mansfield: 1 Clinton, 1 Sanders
Moscow Township: 6 Clinton, 1 Sanders
Myrtle: 0 Clinton, 0 Sanders
Newry: 0 Clinton, 0 Sanders
Nunda: 1 Clinton, 8 Sanders
Oakland Township: 2 Clinton, 1 Sanders
Pickerel Lake Township: 4 Clinton, 6 Sanders
Riceland: 0 Clinton, 3 Sanders
Shell Rock Township: 2 Clinton, 2 Sanders
Twin Lakes: 0 Clinton, 1 Sanders
Total: 182 Clinton, 259 Sanders, 3 uncommitted

Total votes: 444