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Published February 16, 2012, 10:09 PM

GF Republicans Prepare For State Convention

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Grand Forks Republicans gathered Thursday night to begin preparations for the state convention next month. Political hopefuls stated their cases in hopes of gaining their party's support.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Grand Forks Republicans gathered Thursday night to begin preparations for the state convention next month. Political hopefuls stated their cases in hopes of gaining their party's support.

Republicans from each of the four legislative districts in Grand Forks gathered tonight to select delegates for the state convention in Bismark at the end of March.

Thursday night's convention is one of the first in the state and Republicans say the turnout so far has been encouraging.

"We're expecting a big turnout through this whole process, our district reorganization conventions and endorsing conventions we've had. The turnouts have been absolutely fantastic," North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Stan Stein said.

Stein says he has a few reasons why North Dakotans in his party are showing up in full force this year.

"Politics closer to home is how it works the best, and grass roots is where it's at. We have an opportunity, and instead of people sitting around and complaining for three years, they know they need to be active," Stein said.

"And everywhere we go we're seeing good turnouts and people very, very interested in participating," North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said.

Participation at the Grand Forks district convention was standing room only, as political hopefuls stated their cases in hopes of making it on the November ballot.

"I take nothing for granted, I'm here just like everybody else asking people for their support," Dalrymple said.

But Stein says the party's real challenge is in the coming months.

"You can have the best candidates in the world, you can be right on all the issues, but if you don't get people to vote on November 6th it doesn't do any good," Stein said.

Republicans say this election year is an important one. Dalrymple says the party had a strong year two years ago and he is expecting 2012 to be the same.

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