Seven Carsons in my close family voted--my parents, grandparents, a couple siblings, and myself. Between us, we voted for five candidates: Cruz, Trump, Carson, Huckabee, and Paul--quintupling our chances of selecting a winner. I love my family! We're united in voting our consciences and standing for what we believe in.
We had a concert and a (happily unexpected) order of concrete pads we needed to load, and then it was crunch time for me to try to finish that post I'd been working on (on and off) for days. I finally decided whom to vote for about 10 minutes before it was time to leave, finished my post, "prettied up" in 5 minutes, and we headed to Wellsburg! We were the first ones there other than the chairman, so we helped set up chairs.
People started coming in gradually. More and more people came (and we set out more and more chairs) until we had 107 voters plus several children. Four years ago the Wellsburg caucus only had 86 voters.
The chair and secretary were re-elected; then there was the Pledge of Allegiance. An envelope was passed around for donations. Next one person per candidate was given a chance to speak, A veteran spoke for Bush. An older lady spoke for Carson. Then a middle-aged family man spoke for Cruz after leading in prayer. One of my sisters spoke for Huckabee, mentioning his desire to lead the nation with moral clarity. A friend spoke for Rand Paul.
There were several minor candidates no one wanted to speak for, so a neighbor got up and gave a short general exhortation on how we should choose wisely and be glad we live in a Christian nation. The meeting could almost have been a church service! My neighbors are good people. Surprisingly no one spoke for Rubio or Trump.
Ballots were marked and while they were counted, the plea for delegates to represent the precinct at the county meeting began. Getting enough delegates was a real challenge. Basically if *anyone* wants to serve the party in my precinct, they'll get unanimously voted into any position they want. Everyone wants to just vote and go home.
Results for Wellsburg were Cruz 34, Rubio 25, Trump 23, Carson 8, Huckabee 6, Paul 4, Bush 3, Christie 2, and Fiorina 2. Statewide, Cruz won with 27.6%. Trump had 24.3%, Rubio 23.1%, Carson 9.3%, Paul 4.5%, Bush 2.8%, Fiorina and Kasich 1.9% each, Huckabee and Christie 1.8% each, Santorum 1%, and Gilmore 0%. Clinton has been declared the Democratic caucus winner with 49.9%; Sanders has 49.6% and O'Malley 0.6%.
Of course with results that close some people suspect Clinton "stole" the election. On the Republican side, Carson called out the Cruz campaign for "dirty tricks:" Cruz supporters informed Carson voters in many precincts that Carson had withdrawn and they should support Cruz. The Wellsburg caucus was quiet, no scandals. We're neighbors.
Since the caucus, Martin O'Malley, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, & Rick Santorum have suspended their campaigns.
And now...our phones are strangely silent and our mailboxes are no longer filled with junk mail. Life goes on.