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County Political Party Leaders Weigh in on Turnout for Primaries

Posted: Thursday, June 17th, 2010 at 6:29 am
Author: KNIA/KRLS News-Eric Gotschall

As previously reported by KNIA/KRLS News, voter turnout by Marion County residents during last week’s primary election was stronger than expected for a primarily, but what stood out most was the lopsided spread between Republican and Democratic ballots. Of the ballots cast, 86 percent where Republican, and only 8 percent of Marion County Democrats went to the polls.

District 71 Democratic candidate Pat Van Zante says she felt the Republican base was energized by primary elections with multiple candidates, but says the Democratic party remains more focused on the November general election. Van Zante added that she felt the Democratic party is more concerned with moving the state and nation forward to address the problems of jobs, fair wages and the economy; rather than have multiple candidates run for election to a single position.

Irene Blom, Republican Party Chairperson for the county, says even with 42 percent of Marion County Republicans casting a ballot, the party will still need to work on gathering votes by November 2nd if they hope to have their candidates elected to office. Blom says there is concern that many local Republicans will not support Terry Branstad in the Governor’s race, and choose to sit out or vote for another candidate. She says the impending announcement on who Branstad will select to run as Lieutenant Governor will be key to prompting Marion County Republicans to vote.