Granite Falls residents attended the DFL and GOP caucuses on Tuesday, February 6 at the Minnesota West Technical and Community College campus. The event attracted a large number of participants -- unusual for non presidential election years. The caucus is the first formal step in the nominating process for the two parties ahead of the pivotal mid-term elections in November.

In the caucus, participants share ideas about stances they would like to see the party take during the election. It is also an opportunity for them to connect with local party leaders, and campaign for candidates and issues that matter for them.

Another important part of the caucus is the gubernatorial poll conducted to help select the nominee from each party. For the Democrats, Congressman Tim Walz, and his running mate Peggy Flanagan, won a narrow victory. According to early results, he secured roughly 30% of the total vote. However, with half a dozen candidates in the running, he still has a long way to go in order to clinch the nomination.

On the Republican side, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson secured a more sizable victory after winning 45% of the vote. That race also remains in doubt given the possible entry of former Governor Tim Pawlenty.