PRESS RELEASE from the Minnesota DFL

Minnesota DFL Party: DFLers Move Caucuses to February 5
State Central Committee Votes Overwhelmingly to Move Precinct Caucuses

St. Paul, MN (August 28, 2007) The Minnesota DFL Party today announced that it will hold its precinct caucuses on February 5, 2008. The move is expected to greatly increase grassroots participation, and is also intended to welcome new participants into the political process.

The State DFL Central Committee voted on the proposed change by mail ballot. The final tally was 277.5 votes for the move, to 33.5 votes against — a majority of 89.2%.

The State DFL Executive Committee, a smaller body, had unanimously recommended the move at a meeting on June 9. State DFL Chair Brian Melendez and State GOP Chair Ron Carey met on June 22, and agreed to propose the move to their parties’ governing bodies. The State GOP Executive Committee, a 13-member body, approved the change in July.

Since 1991, the major political parties have held their precinct caucuses on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March, so the next caucuses would have been held on March 4, 2008. The Minnesota Statutes currently contemplate caucuses on that date. The parties are not bound by the statutory date, but may nevertheless ask the Legislature to amend the statute so that certain public buildings are available by law on caucus night.

“Earlier caucuses will give Minnesotans a greater say in who will be the next President of the United States, and will hopefully engage more Minnesotans in grassroots politics,” said Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez. “We are pleased that the Republican Party has joined in this move, and we look forward to promoting the new dates. We also look forward to welcoming all Minnesotans who want to change our country’s direction to join long-time and first-time DFLers in attending our 2008 precinct caucuses.”

Historically, Minnesota has held caucuses in February before: from 1969 to 1983, and from 1987 to 1991, the statutory date set precinct caucuses on the fourth Tuesday in February. Before 1969, each party’s county executive committee could schedule caucuses on a date of its choosing.