KY GOP votes to hold presidential caucus in March - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KY GOP votes to hold presidential caucus in March

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul won a major victory on Saturday.

WDRB was the only Louisville TV station there when state Republicans cleared the way for Paul to run for President and for his Senate seat at the same time.

At the end of a nearly five-hour meeting in Frankfort, the state Republican party voted to accommodate Paul's two-way campaign by holding a presidential caucus next year instead of a primary.

It was a huge win for Paul, as state law prohibits him from appearing on the ballot for two offices at the same time.

The vote by the GOP Central Committee means he can now be on the Senate primary ballot in May and also compete in the March caucus for Kentucky's delegates in the presidential race.

“It is about something above and beyond one person," Paul said. "It really is about trying to grow the party, and I'm thoroughly convinced that were I not in this race, that this is just good for the Republican Party."

But the vote comes with a condition. Paul must deposit $250,000 in the state GOP bank account by Sept. 18 to help pay the cost. It was a deal apparently agreed to as the committee met for more than an hour behind closed doors.

“Some people who have already given as much as they can give to my campaign, can now give, in addition, to the party. That would be our preferable way, and we'll start there. But we will do it however it takes to make it work,” Paul said.

Committee members decided to vote by secret ballot. One Paul supporter was not happy with the lack of accountability.

“There shouldn't ever be a secret ballot for leadership,” said Jack Richardson of Jefferson Co., even as he acknowledged the victory.

“We won, and now the game is on. I think it's going to excite the Republican Party."

That's the hope even for those who opposed the caucus.

“I hope it works. I hope it does," said Sam Pierce of Harrison County. "I have a lot of reservations about it, but I will work in my county as hard as I can to make it work."

For Paul, it's now back to the campaign trail as he tries to remain relevant in the race for president and raise the dollars needed for the Kentucky caucus.

As Paul was going out the door, a reporter asked if he had any doubt he would come up with the money on time.

“Nope,” replied Paul.

Now comes what may be the even harder part, organizing individual county caucuses by March 5.

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