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Search as I may, even in the US Republican Party (GOP) rule book, I cannot find a definitive answer to this question, maybe I am not reading it correctly:

For the US presidential elections, does a nominee of the US Republican Party (GOP) have to be a member of the Republican Party (GOP)?

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    I don't think the rules have been determined yet. They don't set those until after June I think. – user1873 Apr 8 '16 at 23:40
  • Maybe I should have said "candidates" as opposed to "nominees", as my question relates to whether people running for a party now have to be members. Namely thinking of D. T. – asoundmove Apr 9 '16 at 0:15
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    The answer is no then, you need not be a member of the GOP to run in the Republican Party Primary. – user1873 Apr 9 '16 at 1:03
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    @anon0909 - edit link, is a more constructive way of handling misspellings – user4012 Apr 9 '16 at 19:16
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    Related, but not quite a duplicate: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/10445/… – Bobson Apr 11 '16 at 23:36
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The rules for the nominee are set by the individual state. That is, each state determines under what circumstances it will allow a candidate for nomination to appear on the primary ballot. The state rules only deal with the filing requirements for getting on the ballot in the individual state.

While the rules do not explicitly require official membership or registration in the party, the petition signature requirements may do so. States may require that voters in a primary be registered for a specific party (as in Maryland), but some states have "open" primaries.

Marylandprimary ballot for example does not seem to address the membership of the candidate in the party for which he is campaigning.

For principal party candidates

A candidate for federal, statewide or state legislative office seeking the nomination of a principal political party in a primary election must submit to the Maryland State Board of Elections a certificate of candidacy, which notes the office being sought, the year of the election, the name and address of the candidate, and includes a statement verifying that the candidate satisfies the legal requirements for candidacy for the office being sought. A candidate for statewide or state legislative office must also submit a financial disclosure form to the Maryland State Ethics Commission.[4][5]

Kansas also appears to have similar rules.

For party candidates

See statutes: Kansas Statutes, Chapter 25, Article 2, Section 5

A candidate seeking the nomination of a party qualified to participate in primary elections can gain access to the primary ballot in one of two ways. These are detailed below. By filing a nomination petition

Signature requirements for nomination petitions for party candidates vary according to the office being sought. For offices elected on a statewide basis, signatures must equal at least 1 percent of the state's current voter registration total of the party whose nomination the candidate is seeking. Gubernatorial candidates must collect signatures equaling at least 1 percent of the total votes cast for the party's candidate for secretary of state at the last preceding election. For offices elected by district, signatures must equal at least 2 percent of the district's current voter registration total of the party whose nomination the candidate is seeking.[2][3]

Nomination petitions for federal and state-level offices (including state legislative seats) must be submitted to the Kansas Secretary of State by noon on June 1, prior to the primary election. If June 1 falls on a holiday or weekend, petitions are due by noon on the next following business day.[2] By paying a filing fee

A candidate may forgo the petition process by submitting a declaration of candidacy and paying a filing fee. The filing fee varies according to the office being sought. For statewide and federal offices, the fee is equal to 1 percent of the office's annual salary. For state senate candidates, the fee is $75. For state representative candidates, the fee is $50.[2][4]

The declaration and accompanying filing fee for federal and state-level offices (including state legislative seats) must be submitted to the Kansas Secretary of State by noon on June 1, prior to the primary election. If June 1 falls on a holiday or weekend, petitions are due by noon on the next following business day.[2]

In addition to the statutory filing fee, a candidate for federal and state offices must pay a $20 administrative fee to the Kansas Secretary of State. A state-level candidate must also pay a registration fee to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. For statewide executive offices, the fee is $480. For state legislative candidates, the fee is $35.[5][6]

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