MADISON (WKOW) -- As voters in Iowa participate in caucuses Tuesday in the first test for presidential candidates, Wisconsin officials placed seven Republicans on the Badger state's presidential primary ballot.
Wisconsin's Presidential Preference Selection Committee voted Tuesday to include the names of Michele Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in the state's Republican presidential primary voting April 3.
The committee decided the only name to appear in Wisconsin's Democratic presidential primary on that date will be President Barack Obama.
Committee members are evenly split between the Republican and Democratic parties.
Committee member Republican Party of Wisconsin chairperson Brad Courtney said the Republican field may be thinned to fewer than seven candidates by the time Wisconsin voters go to the polls in April. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board officials said candidates can opt out of being on the ballot over the next month.
But Republican National Committeewoman Mary Buestrin of River Hills said the highly competitive nature of this election cycle's Republican race increases the odds Wisconsin's primary will be relevant in choosing a presidential candidate.
Buestrin cited 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain's uneven performance in early primary states and the importance of a number of primary ballots in leading to his nomination.