The overwhelming winner of the 603 Alliance Grassroots Presidential Selection Caucus for Republican Candidates on October 17 was U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Dr. Ben Carson came in second place, and Carly Fiorina came in third.
The members of the 603 Alliance, who pledged that they would support and campaign for whomever was the victor in the Grassroots Caucus, have officially endorsed Senator Cruz, unanimously.
Over 700 grassroots activists turned out for this first-ever New Hampshire Caucus that was organized by the 603 Alliance. This Caucus was designed to give grassroots activists a chance to make their voices heard; and they did so quite clearly at the Durgin Arena at the Hopkinton Fairgrounds.
Although the doors didn’t open until 10 a.m., people began arriving at 7:00 a.m. on a chilly October morning. The energy level was high, as was evident by the spirited rallies held on the fairgrounds before the start of the event.
The GPS Caucus was open to all New Hampshire residents registered as either Republicans or Undeclared voters, as is the case in the official New Hampshire primary elections. All participants were screened and vetted, using the most recent official voters’ list, which was purchased from the Secretary of State. Once approved, the voters received a wristband as proof of voting status.
Unlike other state caucuses, the GPS Caucus was unique to the ‘Live Free or Die’ state. All of the voting was totally transparent. Each of the 16 candidates had a designated section, and voters sat in one of these designated sections. At the Master of Ceremonies’ signal, there was a show-of-hands vote that the marshals counted for each of the sixteen candidates. The counts were reported, and those candidates with the lowest votes were eliminated. Voters for the eliminated candidates would then move to their choice of the remaining candidates, and another round of voting would take place.
In the past, New Hampshire has often held Straw Polls but never a true Caucus. With a Straw Poll, each voter casts one secret ballot — usually after purchasing a ticket to participate. The ballots are then counted and the winner announced. This format, of course, makes it possible to “buy” a win.
The 603 Alliance chose the Caucus format over the Straw Poll, as it is totally open and transparent, and there is never any doubt about the fairness of the results, as voting is done in public and witnessed by all. Additionally, there was no fee to participate in the 603 Alliance Grassroots Caucus.
A team of enthusiastic volunteers, numbering over 80, assisted with the execution of this event. This team included 20 Marshals who traveled from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine in order to serve in this important role. Since they were unable to participate in the voting, they were well-suited to the role of impartial Marshal and carried out their duties with flawless precision.
The Master of Ceremony for the day, Jeff Chidester, talk-radio show host and featured columnist for the Portsmouth Herald, kept the proceedings moving smoothly and on time.
Coincidentally, the North Carolina TEA Party Constitutional Caucus was also held on October 17th. Although their format was significantly different from the New Hampshire caucus, the results were surprisingly similar.
Anyone interested in more information about the Grassroots Caucus or information about the 603 Alliance and upcoming events, is invited to check the website at www.603alliance.org.