Politics

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee joined the field for the Kentucky Republican presidential caucus before the Thursday deadline, bringing the total of candidates to 11.

The other candidates who Kentucky Republicans will choose from are:

  • former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
  • retired neurosurgeon  Ben Carson
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
  • U.S. Sen Ted Cruz of Texas
  • businesswoman Carly Fiorina
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich
  • U.S. Sen Rand Paul of Kentucky
  • U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
  • businessman Donald Trump

In past years, Kentuckians voted for presidential nominees during the May primary. But in August, the Republican Party of Kentucky voted to hold a caucus. The change was made at the request of Paul so he could  simultaneously run for the Senate and the White House.

State law prohibits political candidates from appearing on the same ballot twice.

Paul is also providing funding for the caucus.

The caucus will take place on March 5, a Saturday, at designated caucus sites that can be found on the Kentucky Republican Party’s website.

Republican Party of Kentucky officials also hoped voting earlier in the presidential race would make Kentucky more significant in the process.

“Kentucky Republicans have an unprecedented opportunity to influence the selection of our presidential nominee,” said RPK Chairman Mac Brown. “The early March 5 caucus date will give Kentuckians a voice before most other states, during a time when Republican candidates are actively competing for support from voters.”

Kentucky’s delegates to the Republican National Convention will be awarded proportionally based on the results of the caucus.