Republicans to hold precinct, county caucuses Saturday
By Marty Russell
Republicans across Mississippi will gather today to elect delegates on the precinct and county level prior to the party’s statewide convention in May.
At 10 a.m. a meeting will be held in every precinct in every county of the state, said Luther Millsaps, chairman of the Lee County Republican Party Executive Committee. A vote will be taken at each of those precincts to elect a representative to the county level caucus that will be held later in the day.
“You just have to be a registered voter and that’s essentially it,” Millsaps said of the qualifications for the elections. “We don’t have party registration in Mississippi.”
The growing influence of the GOP in the state is illustrated by the growing interest in the party leadership elections, he said.
“Things have changed,” Millsaps said. “There is more interest now. It used to be when you went to the precinct caucuses you had to elect your own self because you were the only one there.”
After precinct delegates are elected this morning, those delegates will convene at the county courthouse at 3 p.m. to elect both the county executive committee and delegates to the state convention.
“Only those delegates elected at the precinct level are eligible to vote at the county caucus,” Millsaps said.
At the county caucus, the delegates will vote to elect three of their fellow delegates from each supervisor’s district to form the county executive committee.
“Then those 15 people will convene to elect a new chairman for the next four years and a vice chairman and secretary if they choose to do so,” said Millsaps.
Also at the county caucus, delegates will elect their representatives to the state Republican Party convention, which takes place May 17-18 in Jackson. Lee County will have 6.5 votes at the state level.
“It’s based on population,” Millsaps said. “We’ll have six full votes and one half vote.”
Alternates will also have to be designated for each county’s delegates to the state convention.
At the state convention, delegates will elect a state party executive committee and delegates to the party’s national convention later this summer in San Diego. Three delegates and three alternates are elected from each of the state’s five congressional districts and 15 at-large delegates and their alternates are chosen.
“We’ll most likely get three of those,” Millsaps said of the 1st Congressional District in the at-large elections.
Democrats in Mississippi held their precinct and county caucuses in February and will hold their state convention also on May 18 in Jackson prior to their national convention later this year in Chicago.