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Proposed GOP Caucus Would Be March 5th

Republican Party of Kentucky

Kentucky's Republican presidential caucus would be March 5 and candidates would only need 5 percent of the vote to qualify for delegates under proposed rule changes. The proposal comes as the state seeks to woo the large field of contenders and their millions of dollars amid Rand Paul's struggling campaign.

The proposed rules would also allow Paul to run for president and re-election to his U.S. Senate seat without violating a state law banning candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election.

The state party's central committee is scheduled to vote whether to approve the new rules on Aug. 22. Republican Party state chairman Steve Robertson said the caucus would cost about $500,000. He said he's not sure how the party would pay for it.

Meanwhile, Republican strategist Jesse Benton's indictment on charges of conspiring to buy support for Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign is reverberating from Kentucky to the current campaign for the White House.

Benton managed Rand Paul's successful U.S. Senate campaign in 2010 and has helped lead a super PAC supporting Rand Paul's presidential run. Rand Paul is Ron Paul's son.

WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, Kentucky, reports the younger Paul called Benton's indictment "suspicious," coming shortly before the first debate of the 2016 campaign for the presidency.

Benton says he is taking a leave of absence from America's Liberty, the super PAC, and expects to return when he's exonerated.

In addition, the Republican state auditor candidate in Kentucky says Benton has stepped aside from his role as campaign consultant.