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Kentucky Republicans Move Caucus Plans Forward

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In 17 years of voting at this polling place, nevr took longer than 5 minutes...today it took 1 hr and 5 minutes!

Preparations for Kentucky Republicans' March 5 presidential caucus are officially underway.

And first things first: They've hired a director to help coordinate with various county party chairs who will be tasked with carrying out their respective caucus events.

Republican Party of Kentucky Executive Director Mike Biagi said Brad Clapp, a financial adviser from Paducah, has been selected for the job. According to Clapp’s online resume, he worked with the Kentucky GOP during the 2008 election.

“We’ve hired a presidential caucus director whose sole focus is to help county parties implement the caucus and do the things that we need to do as a state party to prepare for this first-time-ever event in Kentucky,” Biagi said.

Shortly after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, secured funding for the caucus in September, party officials said formal planning would begin. The state GOP approved the caucus earlier this year to allow Paul to run for both the presidency and his seat on Capitol Hill.

Scott Lasley, a member of both the RPK executive committee and a special group created to explore a caucus plan, said earlier this year the director would have his work cut out for him.

“That person will be able to start reaching out to the county parties, because there is going to have to be significant amounts of information disseminated to make sure everyone is on the same page,” Lasley said in September.

Biagi said one of Clapp’s main jobs will be to work with the party to help get county chairs ready to host.

“We are giving them guidance,” Biagi said. “We are helping them identify locations. Most counties will do their caucus in one location, while one of the few most populous counties in our state will use multiple locations. And they are also recruiting local volunteers.”

In addition to hiring a point person, Biagi said the party is in talks with the various Republican presidential campaigns about the January caucus filing deadline. So far, Jeb Bush is the only candidate who has filed. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has said he would also campaign in Kentucky.

“No one else had filed yet, and we are speaking with all the campaigns who have expressed a lot of interest," he said "They have until Jan. 7 to file, and I fully expect a number more will. And I am looking forward to having them and welcoming them to Kentucky.”

The filing fee for the caucus is $15,000 per candidate. Biagi said that money would go to the party and possibly help underwrite the caucus. Paul’s campaign has pledged to foot the bill for its cost.

Kentuckians will have to be registered Republican by Dec. 31 to participate.