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State Issues Dominate Hopkins DFL Caucuses

The event also saw many new citizens participate in their first caucus.

In a year when the DFL presidential nominee is uncontested, Minnesota issues took center stage at the Hopkins DFL caucuses Tuesday in .

Redistricting, voter ID and a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage were both big topics of conversation at the caucuses, said Eric Margolis, the state DFL affirmative action officer and Hopkins caucus organizer.

Margolis said caucus-goers didn’t focus too much on the national issues that just across Highway 7.

“Really, people are just excited about taking back our legislative houses,” he said.

Margolis estimated that about 100 people showed up to participate in Hopkins caucuses. That’s well short of the 942 who cast presidential preference ballots in 2008 and behind the 154 that Republican had this year.

But Margolis said it was a good turnout for this year and that people were enthusiastic.

“I saw people excited about re-electing the president and (U.S.) Sen. (Amy) Klobuchar,” he said.

Some of that excitement arose from new citizens participating in the caucuses for their first time—a product of . 

Precinct 2 offered a good example of the mix. The precinct is home to former state senator and DFL gubernatorial candidate Steve Kelley, who attended Tuesday’s caucuses.

But it is also home to Fartun Weli, an executive director of a Somali women’s health program who received her citizenship in August and was selected as a delegate for the district convention.

“(Kelley) had a lot of new faces in his precinct,” Margolis said.

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