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Archive for Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Democrats prepare to choose candidates, delegates by caucus

March 2, 2004

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Four candidates will participate in Kansas' Democratic Party caucuses later this month.

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean are on the ballot.

Dean has suspended his presidential campaign but has decided to remain on the ballot in Kansas. To participate, Dean submitted 1,000 signatures of registered Kansas Democrats that were verified by the state party Feb. 24.

Kucinich paid the $1,000 fee Wednesday to participate. His campaign has designated Jeff Zamrzla, Topeka, as its official representative.

At the March 13 caucuses, Kansas Democrats will select their delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which is July 26-29 in Boston.

Democrats will meet at 50 sites across the state to divide 33 of the state's 41 presidential delegates.

In Lawrence, Democrats in the 2nd Kansas Senate District from both the 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts will meet at 2 p.m. March 13 in separate meeting rooms at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Democrats from the 3rd Kansas Senate District will meet at the same time in the Baldwin Public Library.

Democrats who live in southwest Douglas County, in the 19th Kansas Senate District, will meet at 2 p.m. March 13 at Highland Park High School in Topeka.

Any registered Democrat can attend, and people can register, declare parties or switch parties at the site, beginning at noon March 13.

Getting supporters out to the caucuses is the key to winning. Attendees will be asked to move to different areas of the room depending on the candidate they support. Candidates must have at least 15 percent of the vote at a location for their delegates to be counted.

The 33 delegates then will be designated proportionately to the number of delegates supporting candidates at the caucuses.

The other eight -- party officials including the governor and Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore -- are free to select their own candidate.

The caucuses also kick off the process for selecting who will become delegates to the national convention, with conventions scheduled at the congressional district and state level. Thirty-three of the 41 delegates are selected in this process.

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