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Caucusing: A Family Affair

May 05, 2016 03:20PM ● Published by Sandra Osborn

By Sandra Osborn / s.osborn@mycityjournals.com

South Jordan - Neither rain nor the mid-week bustle kept South Jordan residents from casting their votes at the 2016 Party Caucuses on Tuesday, March 22nd. The evening chill carried the smell of damp streets and anticipation. Neighbors and friends connected politically. For many, caucusing became a family affair. 

At Monte Vista Elementary, one of the locations for the Democratic caucus, the line extended out the doors. Families inched their way along long halls and serpentine rows before entering their ballot into large cardboard boxes. Despite the hassle, the atmosphere was cheerful. Mothers and fathers came prepared with coloring books, snacks and bottles. Older children were too happy to while away the time playing on phones or tablets. The crowdedness added to the experience.

“The turn-out is great! We’ve never seen anything like it,” Barbara Schieving, a volunteer poll worker said. 

Waiting in line and smiling broadly were Robyn and Brett Puzey. An active four year-old and a brand new baby didn’t deter this family from waiting in line for a couple hours.

“We’re here in between feedings,” Robyn said. “The kids are doing fine. It’s great to see so many of our neighbors come out and vote.” 

Other voters felt united in their efforts to participate in the political process even if they differed in opinion.

“I’m here with my son, Christian,” Delmy Gomez said. “This is my first time coming to a caucus. It’s very exciting.”

“I’m voting for Hillary. I would really like to see a woman president. The world is moving forward. Many other countries have had women presidents. Why doesn’t the US? Hillary would do a good job,” Delmy said.  

Standing next to his mother, Christian grinned. 

“I’m voting for Bernie because in his time in politics, he’s been very consistent. He was fighting for gay rights when no one else was. His ideas could push America in a better direction and put the focus back on the US before extending beyond its borders,” Christian said.

At the Republican caucus for District 50 at Bingham High School, the check-in chaos soon dissipated as voters moved to every classroom, hall, and nook for individual precinct meetings where the voting took place. 

Amber Brown and her husband Cory took turns watching their kids at the back of the science lab classroom while the other voted. A politically minded family who moved to South Jordan from the Washington, D.C. area, they named their children Harrison, Carter, and Jefferson after former presidents. They too were showing their support for different candidates.

“We thought about getting a babysitter and leaving the kids at home or voting online, but it is exciting to be here in person,” said Amber. 

“I’m voting for Ted Cruz. He is the most principled of the candidates and he is constitutionally-minded,” said Cory. 

“I’m voting for Kasich. He’s a rational choice. I think he will work well with Democrats. He’s not likely to win, but he’s the one that aligns the most with my principles. I’ll probably vote for Cruz in the general election, but not Trump,” said Amber. 

Trump supporters were present in small numbers.

Republican Candidate Ted Cruz won 69.2% of the vote, and got all 40 delegates. John Kasich came in second with 16.8% of the vote, and Donald Trump came in last with 14.0%. 

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders obtained 79.3% of the Utah vote and won 26 delegates, while Hillary Clinton got 20.3% of the vote and got 6 delegates, according to reported results by the A.P.

South Jordan is in Senate District 10, House District 50, 52, and 42. 

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