Davis County Democrats picked Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis as their choice for the party's presidential nominee during caucus meetings Monday, while their Republican counterparts selected Jack Kemp as the preferred GOP vice-presidential candidate in a straw poll.
Democratic County Chairman Rosemary Wall said Dukakis held a 3-1 margin over challenger the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a 5-1 margin over the uncommitted ballots (see related story on Page B1).Wall, who said she was excited about Monday's caucuses, noted attendance at the meetings was the best the party has recorded in several years. She said the party also managed to organize several legislative districts that have not had leadership in many years.
"All indications are that we had a good increase in attendance and that the increase was not due to special interest groups," Wall said.
Wall said she thinks the turnout is an indication that the party will fare better at the polls this year.
Republican caucus sessions were generally low key, much of the drama and potential conflict removed when Jon Huntsman withdrew from the race for governor, according to county GOP chairman Steven Smoot.
While there are a few contested races that could be settled in county or state conventions, he said most of the interest will be generated toward issues and the party platform.
Smoot said the informal straw poll for vice-president appeared to show a preference among Davis County Republicans for conservative Jack Kemp. Robert Dole, his wife, Elizabeth Dole, and another conservative and former presidential contender, Pierre DuPont, also picked up support.
Although some attending the 163 GOP caucus sessions questioned delegate candidates closely on their stand on the tax rollback proposals, Smoot said he saw little evidence of any attempt to pack the caucuses by either anti-tax supporters or other special interest groups.