Monday, January 16, 2012

Louisiana Republican Caucuses Slated for April 28

In a press release today, the Louisiana Republican Party indicated that it would hold April 28 congressional district caucuses to begin the process of allocating its 18 congressional district delegates.1 [The 25 at-large delegates are allocated and bound according to the whether a candidate or candidates break a 25% threshold in the March 24 presidential primary.] Four years ago the district caucuses preceded the presidential primary by a couple of weeks, occurring on January 22 in between the South Carolina Republican primary and Florida primary. The 2008 Louisiana primary did not occur until the Saturday after Super Tuesday.

There has been some on again/off again chatter that the Louisiana Republican Party would reprise that January contest in 2012, but a conflict over the number of state delegates Louisiana was apportioned by the Republican National Committee kept the scheduling of the caucuses in limbo until last week.2 It was at that time that the RNC -- during the winter meeting in New Orleans last week -- halted the state party plan to hold caucuses in the seven congressional districts in existence prior to the 2010 census instead of the six in place post-census. In terms of the delegate total, Louisiana would have netted an additional three delegates, but again the RNC shot that down.

The Louisiana GOP, then, will hold a March 24 primary for the purpose of allocating at-large delegates and then a month later, hold district caucuses in the six congressional districts on April 28. The actual delegates will be selected at the June state convention, but only the at-large delegates will be bound based on the results of the March primary.

Thanks to Kevin Yeaux for passing this news along.

1 Below is the "Louisiana Caucus Date" press release from LAGOP:
Dear Louisiana Republicans:

The Republican National Committee met in New Orleans on Friday and cleared the way for states like Louisiana to bind delegates to presidential candidates according to the results of presidential primaries. This ruling confirmed our ability to move forward under our current rules.

The RNC has also ruled that Louisiana must conduct delegate elections in its six new congressional districts instead of the seven current districts. This action deprived our state of three additional delegates that we feel we are entitled to. We were disappointed by this decision.

Regardless, it is now time to move forward with our delegate selection process.

The Republican Party of Louisiana will conduct congressional district caucuses on Saturday, April 28, 2012 for the purpose of electing delegates to the Louisiana Republican State Convention. Delegates to the Republican National Convention will be elected by the State Convention on June 2nd in Shreveport.

Louisiana voters affiliated with the Republican Party on or before December 15, 2011 are eligible to participate in the caucuses.

Caucus voting will be conducted between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon. Any qualified voter who is in line at noon will be allowed to vote. Voters are not required to stay for a meeting in order to vote. Voters will elect 25 delegates and 12 alternates from their new congressional districts. Each person may cast votes for up to 25 candidates for delegate and up to 12 candidates for alternate.

In order to run for state convention delegate or alternate, candidates must qualify with the Republican Party of Louisiana. There will be two methods of qualifying. Those who desire to qualify online may do so on April 10-12, 2012. Online qualifying will end at 5:00 p.m. on April 12th. Names of candidates who qualify online will be listed online so that they may verify that their registrations have been received. Those who do not want to register online and those wishing to pay for one or more candidates by check may deliver registration forms and checks in person on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. at Republican Party of Louisiana Headquarters, 530 Lakeland Drive, Suite 215, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The registration fee for a candidate for state convention delegate is $200. The fee to run for alternate is $75. Qualifying forms and caucus locations will be published in the weeks ahead. 
Voters will be assigned to one of approximately 30 voting sites across Louisiana. In most cases, entire parishes will be assigned to one site. At some sites, voters from more than one congressional district will vote. When voters sign in, they will be provided the appropriate ballot for their congressional district. Voters are required to provide a photo ID in order to obtain a ballot. Voter registration cards are not required for check in, but we encourage voters to bring one in case there is any question about their eligibility to participate.

Delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention will be selected on June 2, 2012 at the Louisiana Republican State Convention in Shreveport by state convention delegates. It is not necessary to be a state convention delegate in order to be elected as a national convention delegate. Qualifying procedures for national delegate and alternate will be announced at a later date.

Thank you very much.

Roger F. Villere, Jr.

2 In fact, it was during Ron Paul's post-Iowa introduction by his son -- one that mentioned moving on to a group of early state contests that included Louisiana -- that made FHQ wonder if Louisiana Republicans were once again preparing for January caucuses.

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