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County GOP convention set for Saturday in Riverton

Mar 12, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

The Fremont County Republican Party plans to consider platforms and resolutions at its March 15 convention addressing federal regulations and gun rights. Expectations also are high that candidates will announce they are running for local offices.

The party held its caucuses Feb. 20 in Riverton, Lander, Dubois and Pavillion, and several precincts put forth platform planks and resolutions for the county party. Those proposals are not official positions of the party unless county delegates approve them at the convention.

"That's where the grass roots get together and jot down where they'd like us to stand," county GOP chairwoman Darlene Vaughan said.

About 40 people attended the Lander caucus where Vaughan spent most of the day, she said.

So far, the party has 21 proposed planks or resolutions from four precincts. Some suggested taking positions supporting gun rights.

"The FCRP believes strongly that 'Gun Free Zones' should be abolished," was one plank the Big Bend precinct proposed.

The Luthy precinct suggested the party adopt a resolution to "promote small businesses by curtailing an over abundance of regulations."

The Hudson precinct put forth a stance on "sin taxes."

"Where as any societal and public health costs are attributed to abuse of alcohol and nicotine, additional taxation (should) be assessed to mitigate these costs, including beer and electronic cigarettes," read the proposed resolution.

Before the convention votes on the planks and resolutions, the platforms and resolutions committee of the FCRP is to vet the proposals to make sure they do not duplicate anything the party already has adopted.

Proposals the county convention adopts Saturday at the Fremont Center in Riverton will be brought the state GOP convention, Vaughan said. There, delegates will consider adopting them for the state party, and they could even go on to the national Republican convention.

Candidates

Republican political candidates often announce their intentions during the convention, Vaughan said.

"We will allow any candidates or potential candidates to give a short talk on themselves or announce their candidacy at the convention, or they can announce at the dinner that evening," she said.

The party can help individuals understand how to file as a candidate but does not endorse anyone until after the primary election, which is Aug. 19. The party supports whoever wins the primary.

Any registered Republican is welcome to attend the convention, but only delegates designated at the caucuses can vote on platform ideas or resolutions, Vaughan said. Non-delegates can speak on issues, however, and listen to the debate.

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