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Bainbridge Republicans favor Romney as their presidential pick

Bainbridge Republicans prefer Mitt Romney over other Republican presidential candidates.

Island Republicans met on Saturday, March 3 to take part in the statewide Republican caucus. And by the end of the day there was no doubt that Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was the favored candidate in Kitsap County and that Bainbridge Island echoed this result.

According to a straw poll from the caucuses, Romney took 60.31 percent of the votes on the island, a clear landslide over his contenders.

Rick Santorum held 14.12 percent, Ron Paul had 13.74, and Newt Gingrich came in last with 9.54 percent of the votes.

A total 2.29 percent of the votes were undecided.

The South Island precincts met at Bainbridge Island High School while the North Island precincts met at the American Legion Post 172. Turnout at Bainbridge High School was pegged at 140, while attendance at the American Legion numbered 130.

Discussion at the tables ranged from issues about voter fraud to education.

“I think there’s that underlying sentiment that we’re in trouble and there’s a lot of passion out there about where we’re headed as a nation,” said Tom Greene, who led the caucus for the south precincts. “There was a real positive sense there.”

The South Island caucus at the high school broke from the trend for the island as a whole, and Kitsap County. Trading places with Santorum, Paul took second place with South Island Republicans in the straw poll.

Susan Thatcher led the north precincts meeting at the American Legion Hall, and she said that the event was bigger than she had ever seen before on the island. Many people were attending a caucus for the first time.

“It had positive enthusiasm with lots of energy,” Thatcher said.

Thatcher wasn’t alone in her observation.

Greene noticed a significant increase in the attendance at his caucus as well. He asked first-time attendees to raise their hands and was surprised by the result.

“It seemed like a third to a half of the people there had never been to a caucus before,” Greene said.

“The turnout was stunning. I brought in extra paperwork and we ran out. We had to start using scratch paper. It was really cool to see that,” he said.

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