For the first time in history, Kentucky will hold a caucus in the upcoming Republican presidential race.
Senator Rand Paul has put up $250,000 to fund the Kentucky caucus so that he can run for president while still seeking re-election to his Senate seat.
“I applaud the Republican Party of Kentucky on their decision to hold a caucus in the upcoming Republican presidential cycle,” Paul said in a statement. “The people of Kentucky deserve a voice as the GOP chooses their next nominee, and holding a caucus will ensure that Kentucky is relevant and participates early in the process.”
According to the Washington Post, the party’s central committee approved Kentucky’s first-ever presidential caucus for March 5, 2016. The vote was 111 to 36, a stronger showing than expected, after a drama that took most of the day — ending just 20 minutes before the meeting had to end. Two-thirds of the central committee was needed to approve the caucus.
The Official Rules of the Republican Party of Kentucky say each county can hold its own caucus or enter into a regional caucus plan with neighboring counties. According to Knox County Republican chairman Mike Corey, local Republican officials will be meeting soon to dicsuss the issue.
Corey stated that absentee balloting will be allowed for the caucus. The deadline for absentee ballot applications is Feb. 19, 2016.
In a party caucus, unlike a primary or general election, candidates are permitted to campaign on site. Candidates or their representatives can be present during the entire time to answer questions posed by voters participating in the caucus. However, they will not be permitted within 25 feet of the designated voting area or equipment.
Each candidate who wants to have his name placed on the caucus ballot must pay a $15,000 fee before Jan. 7, 2016. To date, Jeff Bush is the only candidate to pay his fee to be placed on the Kentucky caucus ballot.