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Frankfort Politics

Group Hopes to Break Two-Party System With Internet Primary

A national group that hopes to give voters more choices in this year’s presidential election is bringing its campaign to Kentucky.

Americans Elect wants to field a presidential ticket in all 50 states. The group will nominate a candidate through a primary online at AmericansElect.org. The group will soon petition to get a candidate on the ballot in Kentucky.

“We will begin collecting signatures for shortly, probably in a month, we will collect 10,000 signatures and the requirement is 5,000,” says Spokeswoman Ileana Wachtel.

So far, the group has put a candidate on 27 state ballots, including Ohio’s. Another border state, Tennessee, is currently reviewing the group’s petitions. The candidate is unlikely to win the race, but Wachtel says Americans Elect hopes to weaken the two-party system.

“And this is about creating a unity ticket and getting out of that duopoly that really the stranglehold on our nation,” she says.

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Frankfort Local News

Mitt Romney Is First Presidential Candidate to Qualify for Kentucky’s Primary

Kentucky’s presidential primary is months away and tends to serve little purpose in selecting a major party nominee. But that doesn’t mean the event is being ignored.

At least one presidential hopeful is in front of the pack in Kentucky: Mitt Romney. The Republican frontrunner is the only candidate to have filed to run in the state’s primary so far.

Romney qualified for the ballot by showing he qualified in more than twenty other states, which is one of four ways Kentucky allows presidential ballot access.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says other big names have called about the primary as well.

“We have been contacted by President Obama’s campaign regarding the procedure to obtain ballot access,” she says. “We provided them with the necessary paperwork just as we have any other calls that we received. We received calls from Newt Gingrich’s campaign as well. But as I said we field tons of calls daily and some calls identify themselves, others don’t.”

Romney’s records show he also filed in neighboring Ohio, Tennessee andVirginia. But he hasnt yet filed in any other states with May primaries, making Kentucky the first for presidential politics in at least one category. ’

Grimes isn’t sure if Ron Paul, father of Kentucky’s junior senator Rand Paul, had told his campaign to call. She said no one from the Paul campaign identified themselves when calling, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t.

Kentucky hasn’t had an effect on presidential politics since 1988, when it had an earlier primary. The General Assembly moved the primary to May—when legislative offices are on the ballot—as a cost-cutting move.

Grimes says it would be up to lawmakers to move the primaries around again.

The filing deadline is January 31.

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Local News Next Louisville Politics

Now Out Of 2012 Race, Daniels Says He’ll Stay Active In Debate

From the Associated Press:

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says he will continue to promote fiscal conservatism and influence the 2012 presidential debate from the sidelines now that he’s decided not to run for the office himself.

Daniels, in his first public appearance since announcing he wouldn’t seek the GOP nomination, said he’ll try to keep the campaign’s focus on fiscal conservatism through speaking engagements and promoting the book he is writing.

He said he isn’t sure whether he’ll endorse another candidate.

Daniels spoke after attending a meeting of the Indiana Education Roundtable. He announced last weekend that he wouldn’t run because he was concerned about the impact the race would have on his family. He says speculation that he could be a candidate for Vice-President is “far-fetched” and the chance of the issue being raised “next to zilch.”

Daniels says he hasn’t given any thought to a cabinet job if Republicans win back The White House.