From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 105, Number 10 - March 13, 2008
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Democrats vote for Sen. Barack Obama while Clinton supporters look on at the Sublette County Caucus/Convention held at the Sublette County Library on Saturday.
County democrats show support for Obama

by Alecia Warren

Sen. Barack Obama won nearly two to one against Sen. Hillary Clinton at Sublette County’s Democratic Caucus/Convention in the Sublette County Library on Saturday, one of the most well attended in the county’s history.

The 78 registered democrats at the caucus crammed into the Lovatt Room with Clinton supporters sitting on one side and Obama supporters on the other, each person labeled by the pins and stickers decorating their torsos. About 30 more people stood at the back to watch.

“I thought (the turnout) was remarkable, considering the general turnout of these things is roughly 12 to 15,” said Paul Jensen, the state democratic committee representative at the caucus. “I think (so many showed up) because number one, the race is close, and it’s dawning on people simultaneously that this is going to be a fight about delegates.”

After a show of hands and a roll call vote to double check, 48 people voted for Obama, 27 for Clinton, and three undecided. The Illinois senator’s popularity stretched across the state that day, earning him 61 percent of votes in Wyoming counties.

Ana Cupril speaks in favor of Obama.
Although Wyoming will only offer 12 delegates at this summer’s national convention, every vote counts in the neck-and-neck race for presidential nomination between Clinton and Obama. This was clear enough on Thursday and Friday before the caucus, when both candidates dropped by Wyoming to campaign.

County locals appeared to prefer Obama for the changes he promises to bring the country.

“I saw him speak yesterday (in Casper), and I’m very excited about his plans to end this horrible war by 2009,” said Ana Cupril, who gave a short nominating speech for Obama. “I’m excited about his healthcare plan to ensure we all get healthcare one way or another without a mandate.

“I’m excited about his plans to allow college students to get more help to go to college. He has such great ideas, and besides the ideas, I think he is somebody who can make this happen.”

Grace Anderson of Pinedale, also an Obama supporter, roused a standing ovation when she spoke on why Clinton shouldn’t be president.

“I have in my memory, very strong on my mind, a very cold spring night when a bunch of us stood outside in a circle, held hands and wished so much there would not be war,” Anderson said. “I see no reason to elect someone as our president who did all she could to bring that war on.”

Sublette County Democratic Committee Secretary Cork Kelly, Chairman Dave Racich, Vice Chairman Julie Land and State Committeewoman Sue Kramer applaud committee treasurer Betty Auld as she prepares to share budget updates at the caucus.
County Democrats also voted for delegates to attend the state conference in Jackson on May 24. Instead of voting for four delegates with whole votes, the caucus chose eight delegates with half votes.

The delegates include Cork Kelly, Ana Cupril, Susan Kramer, Dave Hohl, Betty Auld, Linda Baker, Paul Jensen and Courtney Skinner.

Their votes at the state convention must be proportional to the votes at the county caucus, so three delegates will vote for Clinton, and five for Obama.

Democrats at Saturday’s caucus also made a few changes to the 2006 platform, including a statement supporting the end of the war under the Judiciary section.

The platform was also updated to include a few language changes, a standard for recruiting the best qualified teachers under the Education section, and a statement in the Environment section supporting the repeal of the Categorical Exemption clause of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Teton County resident Jim Roscoe, running for Representative of House District 22, also gave a speech on Saturday about how he hopes to help Wyoming have more of a say in oil and gas development and the use of renewable energy sources.

“Even though Wyoming is one of the few states with a budget surplus, now is the time to elect a staunch district conservative as myself to look after the state surplus,” Roscoe said. “You can talk to me, stop me on the street, and let me know what you would like your state representative to do for you.”

Saturday’s victory was a small step forward for Obama after Clinton won in both Ohio and Texas on Feb. 26.

“Obama will pick up a pretty good chunk of the 12 (Wyoming delegates), and it makes a difference,” said Jensen, who was surprised but pleased that Obama won by such a wide margin. “(I think he’ll make a good president) because he’s been very consistent on the issue of Iraq. People are both getting tired of it and realizing the tremendous impact it’s having on the economy and the deficit.

“Obviously whoever’s going to win the presidency, the first priority will be to do what you can to fix the economy, and the second is to resolve Iraq.

Photo credits:  Alecia Warren, Alecia Warren, Alecia Warren

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