Got $2,000?: Join the four major candidates on Idaho GOP presidential ballot

The Idaho Republican Party is issuing a "final call" for candidates who wish to appear in the first-ever presidential caucus, on Super Tuesday, March 6.

Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are already in, having paid the $2,000 entry fee that is distributed among the party's 44 county central committees to defray the costs of the caucus.

Other prospects, including former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a leading libertarian, have until Feb. 5 to file. Idaho's fee is just 20 percent of Nevada's $10,000. Idaho has 32 delegates at stake in what likely will be winner-take-all caucus, more than Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina.

Paul beat Romney in the party's Jan. 6 straw poll, but that contest cost $30 per person and was a party fundraiser. The caucus is free, with locations in each of the 44 counties. Party officials expect more than 10,000 voters to show up in Ada and Canyon counties alone, with caucuses at Taco Bell Arena in Boise and the Idaho Center in Nampa.

“We welcome all Republican presidential candidates who are seriously campaigning to secure the Republican Party’s nomination in 2012 to visit our great State, to discuss issues important to Idahoans, and to campaign for Idaho’s 32 delegates to the Republican National Convention,” said GOP Chairman Norm Semanko in a news release.

GOP Executive Director Jonathan Parker told me the field may grow, "We have received interest from other lesser known candidates, but nothing solid yet."

Candidates must submit the fee along with a declaration of candidacy letter certifying that he or she meets the U.S. Constitutional requirements to be President of the United States and has met the specific requirements of the Federal Election Commission for presidential candidates to political director Trevor Thorpe at Idaho GOP headquarters at 208-343-6405 or trevor@idgop.org.