Now with Super Tuesday states in their rear view mirrors, Republican presidential candidates are focusing on the Kansas GOP caucus on Saturday.
The stakes are high in the tight race as Kansas Republicans will caucus in 96 locations around the state to vote for their preferred nominee. The results will determine how the Kansas GOP allocates its 40 delegates to the Republican National Convention.
On Wednesday, Rick Santorum stopped in Lenexa. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Ron Paul will be at the Lied Center. Newt Gingrich had initially planned to make several appearances in Kansas on Friday and Saturday but then canceled.
On Saturday, Paul planned to speak at caucus sites in Johnson County. GOP officials were still awaiting word about whether Mitt Romney would make it to Kansas.
In Douglas County, the GOP caucus will be held at Free State High School.
Richard Todd, chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, said he was expecting upwards of 2,000 people, including U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, whose district includes the western portion of Douglas County. Statewide, GOP officials said they were hoping for 50,000 to 60,000 Republicans to participate.
“I think there are a lot of people interested in getting things moving for Republicans,” Todd said. “The desire is there; a real sense of urgency in getting something done,” he said.
Todd said he hoped the caucus would serve as a springboard to energize the local GOP in races up and down the ballot.
Doors to the caucus will open at 8 a.m. At 10 a.m. representatives of each candidate will be allowed to give a speech. Then voting will begin. Todd said the caucus should wrap up around 1 p.m.
He said volunteers are still needed to help out. A training session for those who want to volunteer will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at St. John Catholic Church.