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Questions linger as Ky. GOP presidential caucus nears

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In less than three weeks, Kentucky Republicans hold their first-ever presidential caucus.

WDRB went looking for answers to some lingering questions as to how the process will work.

Republicans usually hold their presidential primary in May, but this year, the GOP is changing everything, holding a presidential caucus on March 5.

The Kentucky GOP Central Committee made the change last August so that Rand Paul could run for both President and his Senate seat.

“And I'm thoroughly convinced that, were I not in this race, that this is just good for Republican Party,” said Paul at the time.

And in fact, Paul is now not in the race, but the caucus goes on.

“We're looking forward to this opportunity for Kentucky Republicans to be more relevant in the presidential nomination process by virtue of doing this much earlier than Kentucky ever has before,” said Mike Biagi, Executive Director of the Kentucky Republican Party.

Instead of going to their usual polling places, Republican voters must go to a pre-selected caucus location to cast a ballot.

In Jefferson County there are nine locations, in Hardin County, two. The other counties in the WDRB viewing area all have just one.

The party is downplaying any concerns about inconvenience.

“I think that having a competitive environment for the first time that anyone can remember is well worth doing this caucus,” Biagi told WDRB.

And it will not be winner-take-all. The 46 delegates will be split proportionally.

Eleven candidates paid the filing fee to appear on the ballot.

Even though five, including Rand Paul, have dropped out, their names will still be there and could receive delegates.

“It is possible, but I expect the vast majority of delegates will go to candidates who are still actively pursuing the presidency,” said Biagi.

Rand Paul's campaign paid a quarter-million dollars to fund the caucus. The party will not say how much more, if any, it may need.

It is not planning to fund a voter information campaign, relying instead on social media and individual county parties to spread the word.

"And also the presidential campaigns will be coming into Kentucky, to identify their supporters and turn them out to vote on March 5," said Biagi.

Biagi says he does not believe the caucus will impact turnout for special elections on March 8 to fill four vacant House seats, nor the May 17 primary in which nominees for other offices will be selected.

The GOP does answer some questions on its website, here.

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