MOUNT VERNON – Skagit County’s largest caucus was held at the Emmanuel Baptist Church this morning. Republicans from Mount Vernon and the surrounding farmland gathered to debate the candidates and decide who to throw their support behind.
Caucus-goers began arriving as early as 9:00 am for proceedings that started at 10:00.
Despite differing opinions on the candidates, Republican pride was on display.
Before breaking off into precinct groups, citizens had the chance to make the case for their candidate of choice. Ryan Kent Smith spoke on behalf of Mitt Romney.
Citizens made their way into smaller groups of about 3 to 15 people, based on the precinct where they live.
Caucuses also serve as an opportunity for citizens to influence the official party platform. Here a Ron Paul supporter contemplates a survey asking which issues should be prioritized.
Eventually, it was time to elect delegates from each precinct.
The process was too much for some younger caucus-goers.
Navor Tercero argued for the merits of Newt Gingrich to his group.
Fil Maestas, Mariners fan and Mitt Romney supporter, said he was disappointed at the low turnout of Hispanics. Overall turnout at the caucus was much higher than in 2008.
Close to a 100 caucus-goers signed a petition to overturn the same-sex marriage bill on their way out.
Straw poll results from an individual precinct meeting showed strong support for Mitt Romney.
Connie Munsey tallied results from the straw poll. Mitt Romney won this location by a good distance, followed by a Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.
Photos by Alex Stonehill/UW Election Eye