Eunice Coker, Whitman County Auditor, explained that under current state law, anyone can file as a Democratic or Republican candidate. Both parties have sued to overturn this law. It is unlikely that this suit will be resolved by the candidate filing date.
The Republican Party requires that its candidates receive at least 25% of the vote at a nominating convention. That is what we are doing today. The state party has vowed not to let anyone run as a Republican outside this rule. If we didn't hold this process before the law is potentially overturned, we would have to hold another convention.
If nothing else, the candidates selected today will have the official blessing of the party.