The first Republican Caucus in Pettis County went smoothly on Saturday morning, even though most participants didn't really care for the change imposed upon them by Missouri legislators, instead preferring the previous method of electing delegates via the Presidential Preference Primary.

Pettis County Republican Chairwoman Carla Young led the meeting, which lasted about 75 minutes. The bulk of the business, however, was conducted in about a half hour.

The number of voters she had expected to show up for the caucus (up to 400 people) was slim by comparison, only 147.

“Actually, I thought it was pretty good. I wished we'd had more, you always want more. But we'll do better next time,” Young told KSIS immediately after the event concluded.

Many in the crowd complained they heard about the caucus last minute and decided to come to the MEC Building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds, where the Republican Presidential Caucus was held for the first time.

Some asked Election Authority Nick La Strada, who had his crew on site checking voters in, why he didn't send out mailers to let the local GOP faithful know about the caucus. He noted that his office is neutral and does not represent the State GOP.

Young lamented the fact that the caucus was a one-day event and didn't allow people who had to work, or those living in long-term care facilities, for instance, to be able to vote on Saturday during the 75-minute caucus.

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She also said please don't blame Republican representatives Brad Pollitt or Roger Reedy, who voted to keep the Presidential Preference Primary.

“I hope we put the Presidential Preference Primary back up, it was a better system,” Young said.

Rep Brad Pollitt spoke with KSIS just prior to the caucus.

“Well, it seems like we have a pretty good turnout. I would rather have the Presidential Primary. We passed that out of the House last year and the Senate didn't take it up, to try to restore that,” he said.

“We'll take a gander at it and see what happens.” Pollitt said of the caucus, adding that “there will probably be some discussion, I'll probably get some phone calls if it's not very successful,” he laughed.

The results of the caucus were no surprise at all.

Trump got 138 votes, while challenger Nikki Haley got 8. Therefore, Trump garnered all the delegates from Pettis County.

Candidates David James Stuckenberg and Ryan Binkley got zero votes.

The Pettis County Commissioners, plus Frank Higgins, served as "tellers," counting bodies when they stood up to vote for either Trump or Haley.

Similar results were seen statewide, with Trump securing 51 delegates in Missouri.

All county caucuses across the state began at 10 a.m., and were required to follow strict rules during the meetings.

The next step in the process is the 4th Congressional District Caucus (representing 24 counties) at Smith-Cotton High School April 6 starting at 10 a.m., for all delegates and alternates.

“Guests are welcome, as long as they're quiet and they sit at the back of the room,” Young noted.

The Democratic Caucus will take place March 23.

Republican Caucus

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