Log in

Local GOP caucus slated for Saturday morning on fairgrounds


On Saturday, March 2, the Missouri GOP will host its local caucus at the Missouri Electric Cooperative building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds.

The Missouri GOP is conducting a series of caucuses and conventions to elect delegates for the Republican National Convention on July 16-18 in Milwaukee and determine their nominee for President of the United States. Currently, the eligible candidates for nomination are former President Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, and David Stuckenberg.

Chairman Carla Young with the Missouri Republican Party said she hopes everyone eligible to help choose the Republican candidates comes to the Missouri State Fairgrounds Saturday morning.

“We will begin at 10 a.m.,” Young told the Democrat this week, “but we're going to open the doors at 8:30 at the MEC building on the State Fairgrounds across from the Grandstand.”

The caucus replaces the normal Presidential Preference Primary and is how the Missouri Republican Party sends delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention.

“You need to bring a form of ID,” Young said, “just like you would to register to vote. And you are required to, by the call to caucus, sign a ‘Pledge the Platform’ form to vote at the caucus.”

Once checked in, those at the caucus will proceed quickly through Saturday’s event.

“You'll get a sticker, and we'll know you have secured both those items,” Young said. “You'll come in to vote for your preference for president.”

Strict caucus rules will not allow voting for those arriving after 10 a.m.

“The main thing is we will start around 10," Young warned. "If you're in line at 10, even if it's outside the door, that's fine, but at 10 we're going to have two lines and I will station somebody at the end of the line – if you're there at 10:01 and that person's there, you will not come in to vote.”

The Presidential Preference Primary in Missouri was removed two years ago when the Election Integrity Act was passed and signed by Go. Mike Parson. Young preferred the primary process but will host the caucus instead.

Young testified for the need to return to the PPP in Jefferson City last year and the motion passed the House but expired in the Senate. Young hopes the former process will be returned.

“We no longer have a Presidential Preference Primary; it has been turned to kind of a mirrored form of the Iowa caucus,” Young explained. “So, instead of having weeks to go vote in the Presidential Preference Primary, we call it the PPP, this is a one-shot deal only.”

From local caucuses to state caucuses to Milwaukee’s national convention, those who show up Saturday will help decide the GOP’s course for the next four years.

“We’ve always had a caucus where we elect our county delegates to go onto the Congressional and State, which is where we elect the delegates to the RNC at those two levels,” Young said. “The Congressional one is April 6, a month later is the State one.”

Missouri will have 54 delegates to go to the Republican National Convention, who are bound in the first round of voting to the winning delegates from the caucus.

“You have to come in,” Young said, “and it's not a ballot process. You come in and sit down and we go through the whole thing, including electing the delegates to represent the county in the next two levels, and we go over the platform to make suggestions.”

Young wants to make sure Saturday’s process runs as smoothly as possible while making sure the public gets to help choose the nation’s leaders.

“I never want to take away the vote and I don't think anybody should,” Young emphasized. “I want them to come in and exercise their right to vote.”

You must be a registered Missouri voter in the county in which you wish to join a caucus. All counties will begin their caucuses at 10 a.m. March 2.

To pre-register, find county caucus locations, or for more information, visit www.missouri.gop/missouri-gop-2024-caucus, call the Missouri Republican Party Headquarters at 573-606-0402, or contact your county Republican Party.

Chris Howell can be reached at 660-530-0146.