Politics & Government

Jeb Bush is set to be the first candidate to pay Kentucky caucus filing fee

During a brief visit to Kentucky on Thursday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will become the first presidential candidate to pay his filing fee in Kentucky, securing his place on the ballot for the 2016 caucuses.

Bush, in a visit to Louisville, will raise money for the state party to help with local races while beating out Kentucky junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul to become the first candidate to formally enter the state party's new method of picking a presidential nominee.

Bush's campaign said that the former governor will deliver his paperwork and a check for $15,000 to cover the filing fee at the mid-afternoon fundraiser.

Bush spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger said that Bush "knows firsthand how you can transform a state with conservative governance, and he is glad to help the Republican Party and candidates at every level of the ticket."

"He is happy to be part of the team helping build a strong effort in 2015 and working toward a victory in 2016," Brandenburger said.

Steve Robertson, chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, said a few presidential campaigns have requested the official paperwork to be on the caucus ballots.

But assuming none of those campaigns overnights a check to the state party, Bush will be the first to officially throw his hat in the ring in Kentucky.

The presidential caucus, scheduled for March 5, is a first for state Republicans, who voted over the summer to move to the new method in an effort to help Paul get around a state law that prohibits a candidate from appearing on the same ballot twice.

Paul's presidential campaign has struggled to find any traction, but the senator has been adamant that he is continuing to run for both president and re-election to his U.S. Senate seat.

It was just last week, on the last day to do so, that Paul came through with the $250,000 required by the state party to help pay for the costs of holding caucuses.

Throughout the debate over holding a caucus and how to pay for it, Paul's team repeatedly argued that the filing fees paid by the candidates would help defray some of the costs.