Republican Party of Kentucky preparing for presidential caucus

02/16/2016 05:59 PM

In 17 days Republican across Kentucky will be able to have their say in the selection of the GOP presidential nominee.

Put in place to allow Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, to circumvent statute barring a candidate from appearing on the ballot for two offices at the same time the Republican Party of Kentucky (RPK) is holding a presidential caucus, even though Paul is now focusing on his re-election.

Mike Biagi, the RPK’s executive director, told Pure Politics Republicans voting in the caucus can do so on Saturday, March 5 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm Eastern Time and fill out a paper ballot for their preferred candidate.

“By doing it earlier we’re seeing a more competitive environment here in Kentucky, and our Republican voters here have more influence because our March 5th caucus two-and-a-half months earlier than usual, is at a time when the candidates are still competing for votes, still needing more delegates to earn the nomination,” Biagi said.

Voters will find 11 names on their ballots, even though five candidates among those filing for the post have now dropped out of contention for the White House. Biagi said, there will be campaign and Republican Party representatives in the 114 counties where the caucus is being held wo are allowed to hand out literature and try to sway voters, and that voters would be informed of candidates who have suspended their campaigns.

With 120 counties and only 125 voting locations in the state, Biagi said anyone without a caucus location in their county is eligible to vote by absentee ballot.

In addition, Biagi said that the caucus will be helpful to the GOP in the counties of the four state House March 8 special elections.

“They’re going to campaign at the caucus locations in their district,” Biagi said. “They’re going to be able to interact with, three days before hand, a large number of voters in their district that they can make sure know about their special election three days later on March 8th.”

Watch the full interview with Biagi below, which includes how the delegates will be split up among the candidates in the caucus.

Correction: This article was updated to reference 125 voting locations in the state.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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