My Point of View: Get involved on caucus night in bringing change to state

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, January 18, 2022

My Point of View by Aaron Farris

Minnesota is on the wrong track, and the first step in turning this state around is attending the Freeborn County Republican Party caucuses on Feb. 1 beginning at 7 p.m. at Southwest Middle School in Albert Lea. Caucuses are an extremely undervalued part of our political process that have a huge impact on who ends up on the November ballot.

Aaron Farris

Caucuses are a gathering of friends and neighbors to organize the local Republican Party. They also serve as the first step in becoming a delegate to Republican conventions, which is where endorsements are decided. Those endorsements play a huge role in deciding which Republican candidate for governor, secretary of state, auditor, attorney general, U.S. representative, Minnesota senator, and Minnesota representative end up on the November ballot. Not every state has the endorsement process like Minnesota, but it gives more of the general public a say in who our Republican nominees are, so it’s very important to be a part of that process.

If you’re someone who sits back every year wanting to make a difference in your community, but aren’t quite sure how to do it, go to caucuses! This is the beginning of the grassroots process to help you implement change in local and statewide politics. The Republican Party values the feedback and input of our local Republicans, because we know that it takes all of us working as a team to win elections and do good for the people of Minnesota.

Attending caucuses is easy! If you live in Freeborn County, your Republican caucuses will be at Southwest Middle School. To become a delegate at caucuses, you must be 18 years old by Election Day (Nov. 8, 2022), be a resident of Freeborn County, agree with the principles of the Republican Party and vote Republican. If you won’t be 18 by Election Day, you can still join as an observer.

The governor’s office in Minnesota has been held by Democrats for the past 11, going on 12, years. It shows, and not in a good way. It’s critical that we break that streak this year, and elect a Republican governor to put our state on a new course of success and prosperity for all Minnesotans. The attorney general’s office has been held even longer by the Democrats (since 1971), further destroying our state. We have incredible opportunities this year to take back each and every one of our statewide offices as well as elect a fully Republican Legislature that will fight for the people of this great state, rather than implement the failed California policies that are so popular among today’s Democratic Party.

We have so many people in the Freeborn County Republican Party today that were really unsure of whether they wanted to become involved in politics through things like caucuses. Each and every one of them have since expressed how grateful they are that they took those opportunities and are a part of our county party.

At this year’s caucuses, we’ll be electing our county convention delegates, considering resolutions (or changes) to the platform of the Republican Party of Minnesota, and voting in a straw poll for who our endorsed candidate for governor should be. Right now, we have six great candidates for governor: Senator Michelle Benson, senator and former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, former Sen. Scott Jensen, Mayor Mike Murphy, doctor Neil Shah and former Congressional candidate Kendall Qualls. Each of these candidates bring to the table unique experiences, diverse viewpoints and different visions for Minnesota.

There’s a lot on the line for our state. Riots, daylight carjackings, middle of the day shoplifting, outrageously high taxes, businesses and families leaving our state in droves, shutting down businesses, and so much more have devastated our state. If we don’t change something soon, the cost of living will be too much for most Minnesotans, parents won’t see our state as a safe place to raise their children, and we’ll have towns like Albert Lea so desolate due to the lack of business interest that nobody will want to live in our beautiful state. It’s truly heartbreaking.

You’ve heard this before, but we’re at a crossroads. If you look at where the two parties are on the issue of lawlessness alone, the differences are stark. While Republicans know the answer to this crisis is to crack down on crime and not let criminals off the hook, Democrats in power are trying to reduce sentences for repeat criminals. This is Minnesota under Democratic rule, and it must stop.

We desperately need change in Minnesota, and that change starts on caucus night. Join us, become a delegate, endorse Republican candidates that will win in November and put our state on a track of prosperity, rather than one of self-destruction. The time to get involved is now.

Aaron Farris is the vice chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party.