Topeka Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have guaranteed themselves ballot spots for the state's presidential caucuses in early February.
Obama's campaign announced Thursday that it had filed for the Democratic contest on Feb. 5, paying a $1,000 fee. He is the third Democrat to file, after former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Huckabee's campaign paid a $5,000 fee on Wednesday to enter the state's GOP race. Four others are on the ballot so far: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Both parties hope their contents will give Kansans a meaningful role in selecting their nominees. The caucuses will determine how most of the state's delegates to national party conventions are allocated among the candidates.
Kansas law had called for primaries, but last year, legislators balked at the projected $2 million cost. That left the parties to pay for their own caucuses.
Democrats chose Super Tuesday, when more than 20 other states will have caucuses or primaries for one party or both, believing it could be decisive enough to render a later Kansas caucus meaningless.
But Republicans concluded that caucuses on Super Tuesday would receive little attention because of contests in larger states, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York.