Marion Republicans spoke their piece for the candidates they support at the caucus Tuesday night at Marion High School, with more than a dozen residents taking time to speak during 40 minutes of speeches.
Ron Paul received the bulk of that support, both in the speeches and the results. He led the field with 39 votes, followed by Rick Santorum, 33; Mitt Romney, 23; Newt Gingrich, 15; Michele Bachmann, 9; and Rick Perry, 9. The total number of votes cast was 128.
Despite the frequent discussion about economic and social issues on the campaign trail, foreign policy dominated the discussions tonight. Sentiments were divided between Paul supporters, who called for limited involvement overseas, and Paul detractors.
The caucus was a little slow to start because no one volunteered initially to serve as the caucus secretary. After the caucus chairman, Chad Johnson, requested a volunteer several times, Mary Clapp stepped up to the plate.
Clapp had not previously participated in the political process beyond voting and hadn’t planned to volunteer Tuesday evening. She played down the role.
“All I did is help fill out the forms,” she said.
She also assisted in counting votes and facilitated the delegate selection for the precinct.
It was a busy night at Marion High, with the school’s gym being used for an athletic event. Several caucus-goers were confused by a sign out front regarding admission prices but were quickly redirected to the caucus, being held in the school’s auditorium.