Cheyenne County Democratic caucus set for Saturday

Will take place at community center in Sidney

 

Thousands of Democrats across Nebraska will come together Saturday to caucus in their respective counties to determine delegates for their party's choice for the presidential nominee.

The caucus in Cheyenne County is at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Cheyenne County Community Center, located at 627 Toledo St. in Sidney. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

"The caucus really is the most important thing right now," said Clara Benisek, organizer for the Cheyenne County Democratic Caucus. "We want to have a voice in who our delegates vote for (at the national convention) in Philadelphia."

Benisek said the first Nebraska Caucus took place in 2008.

"Our caucus wasn't very big then, but we're hoping to have a nice turnout this time," she said.

The front-running presidential candidates for the Democratic party are United States Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former U.S. Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton.

"With Sanders and Clinton running, we're hoping that people will come out and support their candidate," Benisek said.

Benisek said the Cheyenne County Democratic Caucus will begin with participants given a presidential preference card. They will also be given an opportunity to speak to their fellow party members about why their candidate should receive the nomination.


"They can try to persuade people to come to their side," she said.

Once divided into presidential preference groups, at least 15 percent of the eligible attendees in the group must side with the potential candidate to be considered viable. Delegates are then awarded to the groups based on their size.

"If there aren't 15 percent, then it doesn't count," Benisek said.

Benisek said Cheyenne County will send two delegates to the state convention, set for June 17-19 in Kearney.

"And to go to the state convention, you have to attend the county caucus," she said.

From there, delegates and super delegates will represent the state at the national convention in Philadelphia July 25-28.

To participate in the county caucus, a person must be eligible to vote in the state of Nebraska and at least 18 years old on election day, set for Nov. 8 this year. They must also be a registered Nebraska Democrat or register as such prior to or at the caucus meeting.

"We will have people at the door to help you change that," Benisek said.

 

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