Democrats from around the state, including many political candidates, are expected to converge on Norfolk this weekend for a state gathering.
The Nebraska Democratic Party’s State Central Committee meeting will be Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17-18, at Divots, 4200 W. Norfolk Ave.
“We hope the weather holds up,” said Jim Rogers, the executive director of the Nebraska Democratic Party, “after all, this is Nebraska in January.”
Rogers said at least 100 people from around the state are likely to attend the first meeting of the state party of the year. Among those attending will be the state leadership team.
“I have been up to the Divots Conference Center. It is fabulous,” Rogers said. “From a personal standpoint, it is comfortable. There is good food and they are great hosts. The last one I recall was about 2009 and again in 2012. We always had a nice time.”
The state committee meeting is open to visitors. People also may attend if they haven’t registered to stay at the conference, but they do need to sign in as a visitor.
After that, they may observe. Members of the public are not allowed to vote on issues unless they are a delegate or an alternate to the central committee body.
Rogers said the state central committee meetings are a little like a board of directors meeting — setting general policy for the party.
They could do such things as vote on plans for the year or pass resolutions.
In the past, they passed a resolution to assist families who were separated at the border. The state party put together care packages, sent them and raised funds to assist the families. They also sent some legal assistance, Rogers said.
One of the candidates doesn’t have far to go. Dr. Daniel Wik of Norfolk, who is running for incumbent Ben Sasse’s U.S. Senate, plans to attend.
Wik plans to speak during a caucus on Friday evening, as well as during caucuses Saturday morning and afternoon. Generally, candidates are limited to five minutes at each caucus.
“With the weather coming up, we don’t know how many will show up,” Wik said.
The state does move the meetings around but tries to have a central location that will attract a lot of people, he said.
Wik previously ran for Congress against Rep. Jeff Fortenberry in 2016.
The Democrats will have a closing reception at Black Cow Fat Pig on Saturday evening.
Other important dates for the Democrats include the state convention June 5-7 in Omaha at the Omaha Marriott Downtown and the national convention in Milwaukee on July 13-16.