Turnout was light, to put it lightly, at the Democratic Caucuses at Challenger Elementary in the Klahanie neighborhood Sunday. For the 48 precints from both Sammamish and Issaquah neighborhoods represented there, about 40 people attended to discuss issues and select delegates for the upcoming presidential elections.
Martha Franklin, PCO for the Hi-Valley precinct, and her husband, Lou, were the only two members of their precinct to show up at the event. Neither is able to attend the state convention as a delegate, so their precinct won’t be represented there, she said.
Franklin said that it’s much different for Democrats this time around. “I think they just have their candidate,” she said. But the Franklins also expressed some concern that some members of their precinct might have been confused, because Challenger was a new caucus location for them this year.
Joe Stegner said he remembers the 2008 caucuses as “like being at a rock concert,” in large part because both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were strong candidates at that time, and facing an open Republican field.
Meanwhile, Tom Glasgow, who a KOMO sportscaster who lives in the Klahanie precinct, was the only member from his own neighborhood at the caucus. Despite being alone at his table, Glasgow said he didn’t see the lack of participation at the caucus as a lack of interest.
“I don’t think it’s an indication of a lack of passion. It’s a different race,” he said, noting that fundraising by President Obama, a large indicator of interest by party members, seems to be going well.
Glasgow said his primary concern is to gain a second term for Obama.
“I think of him as a superior president than what (Republicans) would have to offer up. I’t important not to turn back the clock on this country,” he said.
Others expressed concerns about issues such as protecting social security.
“I’m all about ‘scrappin’ the cap’,” said Melanie Jackson. "Social security, after you make a certain amount of money you don't have to pay in. If we scrapped that, social security would be solvent forever.”
Lou Franklin, who worked in the field of women’s health and fertility for years, said he’s concerned about protecting women’s right to make health choices. He and Martha also both expressed concerns about the social security cap and a desire for tax reforms.
“Have the wealthiest one percent pay more of their share,” he said.
The low turnout made selecting delegates simple, however—in one precinct, four people attended and filled the precinct’s four delegate slots.
The youngest caucuser, Jenner Sapienza, traveled with his mom, Katherine, and siblings to Spokane and Denver in 2008.
“For us, it’s important to get them involved in the process,” Katherine Sapienza said.