Tuesday, April 03, 2018

My First Precinct Caucus

My parents were deeply involved in Democratic politics in my childhood.  Although neither would run for office, they would take me to picnics and rallies to meet candidates.  One of my favorite places to go was the Strohmaier Ranch, about 20 minutes west of Walla Walla, where party activist Gary Strohmaier would have a huge barbeque. Anyway, I digress.
In 1976, I was finally old enough to vote.  This allowed me to participate in my first precinct caucus. This was, of course a presidential year.  The Republicans would hold their precinct caucus at the luxurious Lonneker estate.  The Democrats held their caucus at Sharpstein School in the teacher's conference room. 
I got mentioned on front page of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin for being chosen as a Scoop Jackson delegate.  It was kind of ironic, because in 1976, I supported one of his opponents (Carl Maxey) for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.  Senator Jackson, after all, was a "hawk" on the war in Viet Nam.   By 1976, however, the war was over and many of the hard feelings toward Jackson in the party had heeled.  I supported Jackson because he was from Washington, therefore the home team.  Because of his strong views of defense, his appeal spread beyond party lines.  After all, 4 years earlier, Senator George McGovern was soundly defeated while running on an anti-war platform.
I was able to attend my first county convention, but the party regulars squeezed me out and I did not get to attend the state convention. In later years, I was a delegate many times to the state convention. 

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