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GOP hopes to have state chair at town caucus next week

Date: 2/9/2022

AGAWAM — In preparation for the 2022 Republican State Convention, the Agawam Republican Town Committee will host a caucus to elect delegates on Feb. 16.

The caucus will take place at the Agawam Senior Center, at 954 Main St., at 6:30 p.m.

Mario Tedeschi, chair of the Republican Town Committee, said the caucus is open to all registered Republicans of Agawam.

“You show up that day, put your name on a list and [the delegates] are voted on,” said Tedeschi. “Some people may try to go on the ballot” after showing up at the caucus, he added.

Agawam is limited to 32 delegates. As the chair, Tedeschi, along with Republican members of the City Council and School Committee, are automatically in: “We take away from the 32.”

Currently, Tedeschi said that they don’t have any youth delegates in Agawam.

This year, Tedeschi said they are hoping to have a state chair attending the Agawam caucus. He said caucus participants will have an opportunity to speak, if they wish, but the “real business” is choosing the delegates.

“We vote for everyone on the list. [You only] need one vote to get on,” said Tedeschi. “It’s a five-minute thing.”

He went on to say that those elected must be verified as eligible to vote and as registered Republicans.

Once the delegates are selected, Tedeschi said they must pay a $125 fee to be an official delegate before heading to the state convention. The 2022 Republican State Convention is set to take place on May 21 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The main business of the convention is endorsing candidates to run in the primary election and the November 2022 general election.

“We choose the Republican people on the ballot,” Tedeschi said, including positions such as governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Even though Agawam has supported GOP candidates in several recent elections, Tedeschi said declared Republicans form a minority in Agawam, and “we’re always hopeful to grow that.”

He thinks a major challenge in Agawam has been getting voters interested in statewide races. He said he’d like to spark engagement “[by] getting the candidates to spend more time in the western part of the state, if they can spend more time.”

As Tedeschi has been chair of the committee for four years, this will be first time running a caucus. Soon, he will yield the chair to Patrick Asta-Ferrero.