Politics

Four Republican candidates have now filed to run in Kentucky’s first Republican presidential caucus.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is the latest candidate to enter the caucus field, according to a news release from the Republican Party of Kentucky.

Carson — who is leading in some polls — joins former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump as candidates in Kentucky’s caucus, RPK Executive Director Mike Biagi said.

The filing fee is $15,000.

“It is great to see that the decision to hold the first ever caucus in Kentucky is generating activity here from presidential campaigns,” Biagi said.

The caucus is scheduled for the Saturday following Super Tuesday, which is when a large swath of states weed-out candidates.

Ben CarsonGage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Ben Carson

Biagi said he thinks the timing of the caucus is its biggest appeal to candidates. In past presidential elections years, Kentucky Democrats and Republicans chose candidates during the May primary.

“Because Kentucky is doing this caucus earlier than we have usually done a primary, we are getting more interest and it’s making our voters more relevant in choosing a Republican president,” Biagi told WFPL News. “The caucus will certainly be competitive.”

The caucus is being paid for by Rand Paul, who is simultaneously seeking the Republican presidential nomination and second term in the U.S. Senate from Kentucky. He asked state party members to hold a caucus so that he could run for both offices.

Kentucky is expected to have 46 delegates (out of 2,470) at the 2016 Republican National Convention, which will formally nominate the party’s presidential nominee. The delegates will be assigned in proportion to the vote in the March caucus.

Paul has yet to file for the caucus. The deadline to file is Jan. 7. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has also said he plans to file for Kentucky’s caucus.