My Point of View: Lots of opportunities to get involved in upcoming elections

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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My Point of View by Robert Hoffman

The 2024 election season kicks off nearby with the Iowa Republican Caucus on Monday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in all 99 counties in Iowa. From the Iowa GOP website; “America’s First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucus is around the corner!” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (who would make a great presidential candidate) posted on her Facebook page; “2023 by the numbers. #1 State to retire in. #1 Most fiscally responsible. #1 Millennial homeowners.” Gov. Reynolds also mentioned a few top statistics, “$495M reduction in individual income taxes. $100M in property tax relief. 21 government agencies cut.”

Robert Hoffman

I am more and more impressed by Iowa’s lead, and I like to take advantage of how close we are as a bordering county during their presidential caucus evening. These last few elections I toured a handful of northern Iowa counties just to observe and get an early idea of the election ahead. I will again this month. The nation’s eyes will be focused nearby these next few weeks as Iowa prepares for their presidential caucus. CNN is hosting a couple of presidential debates on Jan. 10 just before the Iowa caucuses (on Jan. 15) and on Jan. 21 just before the New Hampshire presidential primaries (on Jan. 23). In Freeborn County we are lucky to be this close to all the action during the kickoff of the 2024 election in Iowa. Politically, (because of metro Minnesota) we are worlds apart, but our immediacy to northern Iowa allows us a fun opportunity to get involved early. President Donald Trump is down in Mason City this Friday evening.

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January is an exciting kickoff to the new year with the two debates hosted by CNN, nearby the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. I point out these early opportunities to participate because I think it is very important to be involved. It’s not easy to understand everything going on — many times it’s not even easy to be aware of everything going on (much less understanding it all) but even more difficult is to find the time to be involved. “Just voting” lead to just a few days of riots, just billions in tax surplus spent and the crowd favorite lately — just a new flag. We need to do more than just vote.

So how do we get a little more involved locally? Reach out to the Freeborn County Republicans. We’re easy to track down. We have a meeting the second Monday of every month in downtown Albert Lea from 5 to 6:30 p.m. We also host many events like debate watch parties. Congressman Brad Finstad is visiting Albert Lea on Wednesday and soon it is the statewide caucuses in late February and the Freeborn County Convention in early March.

Here are a few key events in 2024 to get involved with:

• Jan. 10: Presidential debate watch party

• Jan. 21: Presidential debate watch party

• Feb. 27: Minnesota’s statewide precinct caucuses

• March 22: Freeborn County Republican’s Convention in Albert Lea

• May 4: Congressional District 1’s Convention in Jackson

• May 16-18: State Republican’s Convention in St. Paul

• May 21-June 4: Filing window to run for office (school board, city council, county board)

• May 27: Memorial Day

• July 3: Parade in Albert Lea

• July Fourth falls on a Thursday in 2024, which means a long weekend!

• July 15-18: Republican National Convention nearby in Wisconsin

• July 30-Aug. 4: Freeborn County Fair

• Aug. 12: Freeborn County Republican’s Picnic

• Aug. 13: State primary election (Early voting starts 18 days prior.)

• Aug. 22-Sept. 2: Minnesota State Fair

• Sept. 2: Labor Day

• Nov. 5: 2024 Election Day (Early voting starts 18 days prior.)

These are just a few opportunities to get involved in this year’s elections and many more will pop up, including local candidate visits, debates and fundraisers. Last and very important to discuss is donating to the local Freeborn County Republicans. We are an active group, very respected and seen as a leading county in southern Minnesota. The Freeborn County Republicans have not lost a race in Freeborn County these last few elections. Some candidates may not have gone on to win their state race but the Republican candidates always won in Freeborn County. This has not been the case for many years, but these last two elections every single Republican who was on the ballot won. We worked hard for that, but we need your help.

The Political Contribution Refund Program allows you to donate $75 per person to the Freeborn County Republicans and have that $75 donation refunded (by a check in the mail) back to you from the state. It is one of the very few times you can say, “I want $75 of my taxes to go here.” Please consider donating to the Freeborn County Republicans, and we would love to see you this election season. Happy New Year!

Robert Hoffman is chairman of the Freeborn County GOP Party.