PRESTONSBURG – Kentucky Republicans cast their votes for Republican candidates for president at the 2016 Kentucky Republican presidential Caucus on Saturday. This was the first Republican caucus since 1984.
Republicans from Floyd and Knott counties joined together at the Mountain Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to sign in, and vote by secret ballot for their choice for the Republican candidate for presidential nomination. Republican officials feared a low turnout for the state’s first presidential caucus since 1984, more than 229.000 voters came out to cast their ballot.
Local citizens for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz set up tables showing their support for the candidates. Local resident Gerald Johnson proudly sported a Trump sign on his chest as he greeted voters at the door of the Mountain Arts Center.
“Donald Trump is the only choice we have if we want to get away from the good old boy establishment,” said Scarlet Stumbo of Harold. “Trump doesn’t owe anyone anything. The establishment doesn’t want him to get the Republican nomination because they know they can’t control him. He doesn’t need their money.”
According to Alan Williams, caucus official, the voter turnout was a success with easily over 500 Republicans showing up to vote.
Linda Rose, a local Republican participated in the caucus by making Ted Cruz signs and T-shirts to show support for her choice of Republican presidential nominee.
The caucus was proposed and paid for by U.S. Senator Rand Paul, the former Republican presidential candidate who wanted to run for president and re-election at the same time without violating a state law, banning candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election. Paul is no longer seeking a presidential nomination.
The 2016 Kentucky Presidential Caucus Ballot included: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John R. Kasich, Donald J. Trump, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, and Uncommitted ballot. Donald Trump was the overall winner with 35.9 percent of the votes giving him 17 delegates from Kentucky. Ted Cruz ran a close second with 31.6% of the votes, giving him 15 delegates from Kentucky. Marco Rubio came in at a distant third place finish with 16.4% of the votes giving him 7 delegates from Kentucky. John R. Kasich came in at a surprising fourth with 14.4% of the votes giving him 7 delegates from Kentucky.
What exactly does this political jargon mean? In order to become the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, hopefuls need to win the support of a majority of the 2472 delegates to the GOP National Convention. The total number of delegates includes those who are pledged and unpledged. Each state party determines how each of type of delegate is allocated within the state. In cases where states such as Kentucky use local caucuses to elect delegates to a state or congressional district convention, the AP projects how many delegates each candidate will be awarded. The AP interviews unpledged delegates to learn their preferences, which are also reflected in the delegate totals.
Currently Trump has 384 delegates, Cruz has 300 delegates, and Rubio has 151 delegates. According to the Politico 2016 Delegate Tracker, 1237 delegates are needed to secure the Republican Presidential nomination.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at 606-794-0290.