DECEMBER 29, 2015
ANOTHER DEMOCRAT REPRESENTATIVE SWITCHES PARTIES
Kentucky Republicans hope to have a larger role in selecting the party’s presidential nominee in 2016.
As opposed to a primary in late May when the nomination likely will be resolved, party caucuses are scheduled around the state March 5.
LAWRENCE COUNTY WILL HOLD ITS CAUCUS AT THE OLD COMMUNITY CENTER NEAR CITY HALL IN DOWNTOWN LOUISA ON MARCH 5, ACCORDING TO COUNTY GOP CHAIRMAN TODD DUNN.
“Kentucky is getting more attention from presidential candidates and seeing more campaign activity here than ever before,” state party Chairman Mac Brown said in a news release.
A key deadline required for participation is Thursday, when voter registration closes.
Just as in a primary election, only registered Republicans on the official voting rolls can participate. Registration must be on file with the Lawrence County clerk’s office,
To register to vote or change party affiliation, a voter registration card can be obtained and submitted at a county clerk’s office. It also is available for download at www.elect.ky.gov.
The Republican Party of Kentucky’s governing body decided in August to select its preference for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination through a caucus instead of the usual presidential primary.
The idea began as a means to accommodate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s desire to run for the presidency as well as another Senate term. Individuals are prohibited from appearing more than one time on a ballot. Removing the presidential primary accommodate Paul’s wishes.
On March 5, Republican voters will come to caucus locations anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to vote for their Republican nominee for president by secret paper ballot.
The state GOP reports that 111 of 120 county parties have scheduled caucuses. If a county event is not scheduled, voters will be directed to a regional caucus site, the party’s online site says.
A final list of caucus locations have not been released. The Lawrence County party will hold caucuses at the Community Center near city hall in Louisa, Jobe said.
In the caucus environment, Republicans are able to visit tables with information and representatives for the various presidential candidates who chose to participate in the Kentucky caucus.
“When voters are ready to cast their vote by secret ballot, the caucus goers will move to the balloting area,” the state GOP website says. “At this point, the caucus will feel like a typical polling location. Voters will present identification to a trained caucus official, who will look them up on the voter roster. Voters will sign in, like they would during a typical election, and will be handed a ballot. After marking their selection, voters will insert their ballot into a ballot box.”
Jobe said Lawrence County Chairman Todd Dunn is looking for volunteers to man the caucus.
Kentucky’s delegates to the Republican National Convention will be awarded proportionally to candidates based on the results of the caucus.
Seven candidates have filed to be on the caucus ballot: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Paul, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. The filing deadline for candidates is Jan. 7.
Republicans have made significant registration gains in Kentucky in recent years. Since November 2008, Republican voter registration in Kentucky has grown by nearly 207,000 voters compared to Democratic registration growth of slightly more than 20,000.
Republican voters can learn more about the caucus by going to the state party’s caucus website at www.rpk.org/caucus.
Statement from House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover on Addition of Rep. Jim Gooch
FRANKFORT, Ky. (December 28, 2015) – “I am pleased and proud to welcome Representative Jim Gooch to the House Republican Caucus. Representative Gooch informed me this morning that he has officially switched his registration to Republican, and will be seeking re-election as a Republican.
Representative Gooch and I have had a very good relationship over the years and have developed a strong friendship. His extensive background in natural resources issues and unwavering support for our coal industry will be a tremendous benefit to our caucus and I know he will continue to serve the people of the 12th House District, as well as the Commonwealth as a whole, with integrity.
He is a welcome addition to the House Republican ranks which currently stands at 48 members.”