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March 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Cheery mood, impassioned debate at Kirkland caucus

The 30 or so voters who turned out for the caucus at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Kirkland this morning were in good spirits even as they strongly defended their Republican candidates of choice.

The voters, many of them first-time caucus-goers, joked about the complicated rules of the process and engaged in lively banter about the various options.

They appeared evenly split between Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, although Newt Gingrich supporters were in attendance as well.

Some were more passionate than others.

“I haven’t been this excited about any candidate since Ronald Reagan — when I was 6,” said 38-year-old welder Peter Wilch, a Santorum supporter.

Those voting for Romney were noticeably less excited.

Still, few expressed interest in a new candidate entering the race, as some have clamored for.

If voters chose a new candidate as their nominee at the August convention, “he’d have two months to get ready to go against billion-dollar Obama,” said Michael Weaver, calling the president “the ultimate campaigner.”

“He’s certainly getting a lot of practice,” quipped tablemate Hank Halle, referring to GOP concerns about Obama focusing too much on getting re-elected.

Minutes earlier, Halle had admitted he worked for the IRS after cautioning “you’re going to hate me.”

The jokes continued throughout the 1 1/2-hour event.

“This is one of the best caucuses I’ve ever been to,” declared Jim Catone as he got up to leave.

“Isn’t it your first?” asked Mark Isaacs, the precinct chair.

“Well, yes,” said Catone, pausing. “You always remember your first time.”

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Comments | More in Government | Topics: GOP Caucus

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