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High turnout for Democratic convention in Fargo

More than 200 attended the Districts 11, 13, 16, 21, 22, 27, 41, 44, 45 and 46 Democratic Convention at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School on Feb. 3. John Hageman / Forum News Service

FARGO—Despite harsh winter weather, turnout for the Saturday, Feb. 3, Cass County Democratic-NPL Convention was high.

At least 200 voters attended the convention Saturday, Feb. 3 to nominate candidates for Districts 11, 13, 16, 21, 22, 27, 41, 44, 45 and 46. Democrats in North Dakota endorse legislative candidates for their respective parties at district conventions. They also elect delegates for the state convention.

Despite it not being a presidential election year—which typically attract more voters than off years—the turnout was one of the largest the convention has seen, said Chris McEwen, chair of the Cass County Democratic NPL.

"We had a fantastic turnout," McEwen said. "People are fired up. They want to see things change. They are dissatisfied with how things are occuring in Bismarck and nationally and they want to see change happen."

McEwen said there were many new faces and "new friends" at the convention across different demographics including many younger voters.

William Fleck, president of the Young Democrats of North Dakota and programs director for North Dakota State University College Democrats said there is more political participation of Democratic leaning students in the community and his organizations. Young Democrats started with just two members at NDSU but has grown to about 50 members after just one semester.

On Saturday, Fleck said it's not just unhappiness with current Republican leaders or President Donald Trump that has increased the Democratic interest. His group has been much more active in the community and on campuses across the state.

Districts 11, 13, 16, 21, 22, 27, 41, 44, 45 and 46 Republicans will hold their convention at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at former PRACS Institute offices, 4837 Amber Valley Parkway, Fargo.

In Minnesota, the political parties choose delegates to attend the BPOU convention during precinct caucuses. Minnesota will hold its precinct caucuses on Tuesday, Feb. 6. People can find their caucus location at caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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