Feb 20, 2012 - By Martin Reed Staff WriterHey, Fremont County Republicans, it's time to get ready for the upcoming presidential election season.
As part of the caucuses happening at various locations in the county on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 21-22, Grand Old Party members around the state are holding straw polls for the first time.
The idea for the straw polls is to "show where Wyoming stands at this point in the campaign," Fremont County Republican Party chairman John Birbari said.
"We do these caucuses every two years but this year we'll do a presidential straw poll. It will be statewide but it will be handled on a county-by-county basis," Birbari said.
Birbari is encouraging all registered Republicans in the county to attend one of the four upcoming caucuses.
Republicans are gathering at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the Fremont County Courthouse in Lander and at Doug and Cindy Thompson's house at 378 Graham Road in Jeffrey City.
The other two caucuses will happen at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the Riverton City Hall and Dubois Town Hall.
Republicans should attend the caucus nearest to them.
"The main thing is down at these caucuses we actually write the platforms and resolutions for the Republican Party," Birbari said about the stances and lists of priorities created by the county party's members.
"We start out county-by-county and every county's platform goes up to the state ... and those are synthesized into a state platform," he said.
The caucuses will allow fellow Republicans to discuss the matters affecting them that they want to see the party address.
"They'll meet with their precincts and write their platforms by precincts, then all the precinct platforms and resolutions will be combined at the county convention which is March 10th at the Fremont Center in Riverton," Birbari said.
The county's resolutions and platforms will help party members statewide decide the Wyoming Republican Party stance at the state convention April 14 at Cheyenne's Little America.
"Also at the precinct caucuses, each precinct will elect a number of delegates to the county convention and those delegates will vote for the platforms and resolutions," Birbari said.
He hopes to see the public become politically active and take interest in the direction of the country's leadership.
"We're fired up to try to make a change in Washington," Birbari said. "Your average fella out there, I don't know how involved they are. My sad impression is not much. They need to pay attention because we have big problems that need solving."
When it comes to participating in the caucuses, they are open to the public but be sure to be a registered Republican. "It's the only requirement," Birbari said.
Other county Republican Party events coming up include a fundraiser from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on March 31 at the Lander Community Center.
Tickets are $35 per person, and cocktails start flowing at 6:30 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m.
The fundraiser's theme is "He's Gotta' Go!" The speaker will be Cheyenne attorney Harriet Hageman, who is actively involved with addressing impacts of federal and state regulations on land and water use.
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