Who's to blame for caucus overcrowding in Benton County? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Who's to blame for caucus overcrowding in Benton County?

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Long lines and short tempers were the most visible thing at this years caucuses in Kennewick.

Benton County Republicans got more than the 2000 people they expected. Around 10:30 in the morning, 1,500 people were turned away.

Benton County GOP chair Patrick McBurney doesn't think his party should shoulder the brunt of blame in Saturday's caucus rejection. He says since the primary was canceled, it placed more pressure on the caucus.

"Both houses are controlled by Democrats and the governor's controlled by Democrats. They didn't see any reason why the Republicans need a primary," says McBurney.

"They simply treated us as cattle, not as voters,"says Richland attorney Ray Swenson. He says what happened on Saturday was an example of poor planning and communication from the GOP.

He was one of the 1,500 people turned away. He says he showed up at 9:05, 25 minutes before the caucus was to begin.

He's thinking of filing a lawsuit to send a message to the party. "These delegates select candidates. It is an early preliminary stage. If the GOP for example we were eliminating people by race, you can bet there would be a lawsuit," says Swenson.

"I think once he does the legal research, he will find that he doesn't have any sort of grounds to stand on," explains McBurney.

McBurney says the reason Swenson's possible lawsuit won't go anywhere is because the caucus was a party function, not a voter supported election.

Swenson has created an email account so people with similar complaints can contact him. The email is bentonvoters@gmail.com .

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