NU Republican caucus abuzz

Bryce Boelter (right) has a discussion with two fellow caucusers during the New Ulm GOP caucus Tuesday. Abortion, Border Security, and Reckless Spending were some of the big talking points during the caucus.

NEW ULM — With Democrats controlling the Minnesota House, Senate, and Governor positions, the New Ulm GOP caucus had no shortage of talking points Tuesday.

Around 30 caucusers showed up despite the chilling cold, blustering winds, and continuing snowfall. Some delegations were unable to attend, like Lake Hanska Township and Sigel.

Speeches from current US House Representative Brad Finstad, Minnesota Senator Gary Dahms, US Senate candidate Joe Fraser, and Presidential candidate Nikki Haley were read for caucusers. Frontrunner Donald Trump did not submit anything to be read.

Minnesota Representative Paul Torkelson made an appearance during the caucus, coming from the caucus in Mankato. He said with the activity from the Democrat-dominant legislature, it has felt more like a torture chamber than the House chamber.

“They passed a ton of things last year,” Torkelson said. “We had a huge state surplus that all got spent. On top of that they’re raising taxes in spite of having all that surplus. There’s no fiscal responsibility. On top of that, of course, they pass the most liberal anti-life bill in the country. There’s no protection for the unborn. The list just goes on and on.”

State Representative Paul Torkelson gave a speech to the GOP caucusers in New Ulm Tuesday, outlining his feelings on the current political situation and what needs to be done. Torkelson urged voters to set aside election integrity concerns and make sure to vote in elections, as around 260,000 identified Republicans did not vote in 2022.

Torkelson said he went to the chair of the State Department and found that 260,000 identified Republicans did not vote in the 2022 elections. He urged Minnesota Republicans to cast aside potential doubts about election integrity and vote.

“No matter what you think about election integrity, I can 100% guarantee that if you don’t vote, it won’t count,” Torkelson said. “I’m encouraging people to cast their ballots, use these tools. Absentee balloting and early voting. For me personally, I’ve been voting by mail for a long time.”

Abortion, Border Security, Illegal Immigration, Support of Illegal Immigrants, Fiscal Responsibility, and School Choice were some of the widely discussed topics during the caucus. Caucuser Roger Klockzien identified abortion, Minnesota’s potential sanctuary state status, and irresponsible fiscal spending as major issues he’d like the Minnesota GOP to tackle.

“Number one, no respect for life,” Klockzien said. “Either in vitro or anywhere. Even euthanasia being proposed in Minnesota. Totally wrong against my moral Christian beliefs. Number two, totally ridiculous and unrealistic to say we can become a sanctuary state. Don’t they read the news about New York and California? We had a nice healthy balance. It’s been spent. There’s no fiscal responsibility.”

Klockzien said he respects the work the Republican party has been able to do while in the minority and believes Finstad has done well representing the district.

Two GOP caucusers have a passionate conversation regarding GOP goals and issues during the New Ulm caucus Tuesday. Caucusers had the opportunity to submit resolutions they would like to see added to the party platform for 2024.

“My prayer every day is that Finstad go to Washington and remain straight to the principles he possesses. I like that young guy.”

On submitting resolutions for the party platform, Klockzien said he was fully supportive of the current platform but would like to see one change.

“Under educate our children, I would like to enable parents to have state money so they can put their child in any school they want,” he said.

Leonard Booth said his biggest issue in Minnesota is the Democrats’ favorable attitudes toward abortion.

“I don’t understand how anybody can go out and say you’re Christian and then vote to kill a baby,” he said. “There’s no place in the Bible that says that’s okay to do. No place. That’s my huge issue.”

On the national level, Klockzien said Biden’s willy-nilly executive power spending, canceling student debt, and the moral decay of the United States are some of his concerns. Booth identified COVID-19 vaccine deaths, lacking border security, and fentanyl are on his list. Both agreed the list of concerns is increasingly long.

“I hope the fervor you hear in our voices is widespread,” Klockzien said.


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