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Local parties forgo primaries for caucuses

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The local Democrat and Republican parties are looking to save the county a little cash this year by forgoing their traditional primary elections.

Rutherford County Democratic Chairman Jonathan Fagan said the party is leaning toward a caucus because most of the seats open for election are uncontested on his side.

“In these tough economic times, $100,000 could save jobs in the county. And if four families’ breadwinners can be saved by us holding a caucus, that’s what we’ll do,” he said.

Fagan also said he doesn’t want to commit $100,000 to a primary where there aren’t multiple candidates for a seat.

Republican Chairman Rick Womick has similar sentiments.

“The county is in such a pinch right now we’ve decided to do a caucus and save the county money,” Womick said, adding holding a caucus could save the county between $50,000 and $60,000.

Womick said the Rutherford County Republican Executive Committee will meet Dec. 12 to make the decision official.

“We’ve got quite a few candidates but it doesn’t make sense to have a primary for unchallenged candidate,” he said.

The parties have until Dec. 18 to officially decide to hold caucuses to select candidates for the general election in August 2010 for county mayor, trustee, sheriff, circuit court clerk, county clerk, register of deeds, all the county commission, county school board zones 1, 4 and 7, and road board zones 2, 4 and 5.

The caucuses will be held before Feb. 18, 2010 when the names must be submitted to the Rutherford County Election Commission.

Michelle Willard can be contacted at 615-869-0816 or mwillard@murfreesboropost.com.
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Elections, Jonathan Fagan, Rick Womick
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Members Opinions:
December 02, 2009 at 3:35pm
Saving money sounds like a great idea, but cutting "we the people" out of the voting process is not something that should be equated to dollars and cents. It is a very bad idea and sets an awful precedent.
December 02, 2009 at 5:12pm
Does this eliminate need for election commission?
December 03, 2009 at 12:19am
"The local Democrat and Republican parties are looking to save the county a little cash this year by forgoing their traditional primary elections." Great, who are you? This is a sad place.
December 03, 2009 at 5:13am
Why does it cost the Democrats, who do not have multiple candidates, twice as much to hold a caucus as it does the Republicans, who have 'quite a few candidates'?
December 03, 2009 at 8:49am
You could hold an election and not like who won, then put the other guy in. You know like the democrats did to Rosalind Kurita.
December 03, 2009 at 12:23pm
Farmall writes "You could hold an election and not like who won, then put the other guy in. You know like the democrats did to Rosalind Kurita."
I'm still trying to figure out thay managed to usurp the clear will of the voters with that stunt.
December 04, 2009 at 10:26pm
The small group of leaders in the local Republican Party want to control the nominees instead of looking outside their own clique of people! It's not truly a money savings idea.
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