Politics & Government

December 28, 2011

Kansas GOP presidential caucus to have full slate

Kansas Republican presidential caucus participants should see a full ballot March 10.

Kansas Republican presidential caucus participants should see a full ballot March 10.

The deadline for candidates to qualify by paying the $10,000 filing fee is 5 p.m. Saturday.

Kansas Republican Party executive director Clayton Barker said filing documents for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich arrived around the middle of December, and representatives for three other candidates have said their papers will be sent by special delivery and should arrive this Thursday or Friday in Kansas.

The trio expected to beat the deadline are Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota; former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman; and former Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania.

Barker noted that although campaign staffs are preparing the paperwork, the documents require the candidates’ signatures, and they’re busy on the campaign trail, so the logistics are taking time.

Besides Gingrich, other Republicans already guaranteed a spot on the Kansas caucus ballot are Rep. Ron Paul, Texas; Gov. Rick Perry of Texas; and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Georgia businessman Herman Cain has requested his name be removed from the Kansas ballot, Barker said. No decision has been made.

Recently, Gingrich and Perry were told they failed to secure the petition signatures needed to qualify for the Virginia Republican presidential primary. Barker said Kansas Republicans had considered a petition requirement, but decided, based on input, to establish a $10,000 fee.

That simplifies the process, Barker said, and the $10,000 fee is high enough that it discourages non-serious candidates.

Kansas voters must be registered as Republican on or before Feb. 17 in order to vote in the March 10 caucus.

The presidential primary season opens Tuesday with the Iowa caucus.

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