Mar 25, 2016

‘I want us to function like a normal city’: Polygamous town holds first Republican caucus in years

Nate Carlisle
Salt Lake Tribune
March 23, 2016
Hildale » FLDS town’s tally sees Ted Cruz win by 26 votes.
In what may be a sign of changing times, Republican voters held a caucus in Hildale on Tuesday night.
It was the first Republican caucus in Hildale in at least four years, said Jesse Barlow, who hosted the meeting at Water Canyon School and was elected vice chairman of the precinct. Hildale and adjoining Colorado City, Ariz., are home to the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
In Hildale's presidential tally, Ted Cruz won with 26 votes, Barlow said. Donald Trump received 19 votes. John Kasich received 10 votes.
But Barlow was most interested in the mechanics of democracy that emerged in Hildale.
"I would have to say there was a lot of energy there," Barlow said.
He said the previous high turnout for a Republican caucus was five people, and they were all city employees meeting at the city offices.
Which, in Hildale, is another way of saying the five were all members of the FLDS church. Barlow said he didn't see anyone he could identify as in good standing with the FLDS at Tuesday's caucus. Former members say the faithful are not allowed to go to Water Canyon.
The Washington County Republican Party website still lists Hildale Mayor Philip Barlow as the precinct chairman. Jesse Barlow, the mayor's cousin, said Philip Barlow hadn't been active in the caucuses for years, so party leaders asked Jesse Barlow to lead the meeting.
Jesse Barlow, 32, said FLDS Bishop Lyle Jeffs sent him away from the community in 2013 without specifying why. Jesse Barlow, his wife and their four children lived in St. George and returned to Hildale a few months ago.
"I want us to function like a normal city," Jesse Barlow said.
Democrats in Hildale had to drive to Hurricane and caucus there.
Arizona has long held primaries with polling stations in Colorado City. There, Trump received 61 votes, Cruz got 34, and Kasich tallied six. For the Democrats, Bernie Sanders received six votes. Hillary Clinton received zero. Mojave County reported the Colorado City totals.

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