It took five hours Saturday for 222 Phelps County Republicans to pick 17 delegates and 17 alternates to the district convention and like numbers for the state convention.


It took five hours Saturday for 222 Phelps County Republicans to pick 17 delegates and 17 alternates to the district convention and like numbers for the state convention.

“I?was glad to see the turnout, and we had a good cross-section of people,” county GOP chairman Bob May said as he ran a dust mop around the Phelps County Courthouse Multi-Purpose Room at 7 p.m.

Delegates from Phelps County to the Eighth Congressional District Convention to be held at 10 a.m. April 21 in Poplar Bluff (and the presidential candidates they will support) are:

Jesse Lepich — Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich

David Grow — Paul

Josh Lepich — Santorum, Gingrich and Paul

Pam Grow — Paul

Shawn Sisco — Santorum

Michael Reno — Santorum and Paul

James Fisher — Santorum, Paul and Gingrich

Clara Gillett — Santorum

Tom Dilly — Santorum

Alison Guzman — Santorum, Paul, Romney, Gingrich

Justin Smith — Santorum

Lydia Grow — Paul

Paula Lindenlaub —Santorum

Charles Scott — Santorum

Roseanne Emmett — Santorum

Rachel Dilley —Santorum

Bob May — Santorum, Romney, Gingrich

County alternate candidates to the district convention are:

Henry Chatman — Santorum

Mike Gosnell — All

Mike Monaldi — Gingrich, Santorum, Paul

Adam Staples — Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, Romney

Alexander Bowlin — Paul

Paul Runnion — Santorum

Paul Hamacher — Santorum

Brenda Halinski — Santorum

Fred Wakefield — Santorum

George Hooker — Santorum

Chris Vierrether — Santorum

Steve Brown — Paul, Santorum, Gingrich

Annette Spencer — Paul

Karen Morgan — Paul

Matt Goss —Santorum, Paul, Gingrich

Barb Brunkhorst — Paul

Stacy Robertson — Paul

Phelps County delegates to the state convention at 10 a.m. June 2 in Springfield are:

Matt Goss — Santorum, Paul, Gingrich

Jesse Lepich — Santorum, Paul, Romney, Gingrich

Josh Lepich — Gingrich, Santorum, Paul

Adam Staples — Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, Romney

Paul Hamacher — Santorum

Rachel Dilly — Santorum

Justin Smith — Santorum

Jim Fisher — Santorum, Paul, Gingrich

Henry Chatman — Santorum

Michael Reno — Santorum, Paul

Chris Vierrether — Santorum

Grace Mosher — Santorum

Pam Grow — Paul

Brandon Beaty — Paul and Santorum

Roseanne Emmett — Santorum

Tom Dilly — Santorum

Shawn Sisco — Santorum

Phelps county alternates to the state convention are:

Mike Monaldi — Gingrich, Santorum, Paul

Corbin Legrand — Santorum, Paul and Gingrich

David Grow — Paul

Alison Guzman — Santorum, Paul, Romney and Gingrich

Steve Brown — Paul, Santorum, Guzman

Brenda Halinski —Santorum, Gingrich

Karen Morgan — Paul

Stacey Robertson — Paul

Mike Gosnell — All

Lydia Grow — Paul

Alexander Bowlin — Paul

Warren Brunkhorst — Santorum, gingrich, Paul

James “Neil” Jocsing — Santorum, romney

Robyn Strange — Santorum, romney, Gingrich

Barbara Putman — Gingrich

Richard Cole — Santorum and Romney

Barb Brunkhorst — Paul

At 2 p.m. May stood at the front of the room to welcome the registered voters and visitors to the county caucus, to call on a local pastor for the invocation and to lead the assembly in the pledge of allegiance.

Mike Gosnell was elected caucus chairman, and Pam Grow was elected caucus secretary.

Gosnell appointed Robert J. Stoltz as parliamentarian.

Jesse Lepich, Marvin Bixler and Russ Schmidt were appointed to the credentials committee and they verified 222 registered Phelps County voters were present and eligible to vote for delegates and alternates in the caucus. There were a number of guests present, too. Eligible voters were blue armbands, guests red.

Appointed to the rules committee were Dale Carpentier, Ed Tenes, Shawn Sissco, Tom Dilly and Jim Fisher.

The rules committee came up with a voting method involving slates of six individuals, but after lengthy discussion, that method was voted out in favor of individual nominations with votes being cast for individuals.

There was also lengthy discussion involving a rule requiring nominees not to divulge who they supported for the presidential nomination. That rule was rewritten to require every nominee for delegate and alternate to declare which candidates they would support.

At 3:10 p.m., more than an hour after May had welcomed them, the Republicans voted to accept the rules.

Then, candidates lined up to sign poster-sized papers to nominate themselves as delegates and alternates to the congressional district convention and the state convention. They also listed the candidates they would vote to support, presumably in order but perhaps not.

Finally at 4:10 p.m., more than two hours after the welcome, the prayer and the pledge, ballots were handed out.

For the next 45 minutes, caucus participants filled out their ballots, many of them walking to the front of the room where the lists of candidates for delegates and alternates hung on the walls.

After they filled out their ballots, they placed their district ballot in the district ballot box at the front of the room and their state ballot in the state ballot box in the back of the room. With 222 eligible voters walking to the front of the room to study the lists of candidates, then casting those ballots in the boxes  at the front of the room and the back of the room, there was a lot of movement in the Multi-Purpose Room.

At 4:55 p.m., instructions were given to the counters.

They worked until 6:15 p.m. when the names of the delegates and alternates were circled on the lists at the front of the room, green for the delegates, orange for the alternates.

Participants then moved around the front of the room, writing down the names.

Eventually, the business meeting reconvened and some instructions were given regarding the two conventions and the order that the alternates would be picked in case delegates were unable to attend.

After that, there was discussion of possible changes to the party platform, but no one was interested in staying so the caucus participants moved ahead with no changes.

 “I think we all learned something,” May said as he cleaned up the room while others stacked chairs.

They may have learned that Missouri Republicans need to work with the national party to schedule a presidential preference primary when it can be used to assign delegates to the national convention. Although Missouri Republicans had a primary in february it was non-binding, referred to by national commentators as a “beauty contest,” because the national party decreed only select states could have primaries. The national GOP threatened not to seat national delegates from states using primaries in February to select national convention delegates.

A caucus will still be needed but with a binding primary it won’t take so long.

Four years ago with a binding primary, only 50 people showed up, and the caucus couldn’t fill all the alternate slots.