Sixteen other candidates fill out crowded field

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- All of the political talk about Republicans might be focused on Donald Trump.

But there are 16 other Republicans running for president. Nine are current or former Governors. Five are current of former United States Senators.

One is a retired neurosurgeon and one is a former CEO of a fortune 500 company.

"It adds a lot of intrigue and it adds a lot of excitement," said Matt Borges, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. The ORP is the host of last week's debate and next year's nominating convention says a big field is good. "It's up to us republicans now to turn that excitement about our party and about our ticket into support for our party."

Former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu agrees with Borges' assessment. "Well, the fact is you've got 17 good people running, " he told Eyewitness News, "and the republican party is going to have an opportunity to have a really good choice coming out of the process."

But political scientist Justin Buchler suggests most of the candidates are irrelevant. The large number of them doesn't matter.

"Most political scientists who study elections would say that Donald Trump's lead will probably evaporate over a relatively short period of time," predicted Buchler. "And he will be replaced in the lead by Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, or Marco Rubio."

There are perhaps, though, two big issues for all of the candidates except for maybe Trump and Jeb Bush. One of them is money. Is there enough to go around? And the other is attention. Whenever there's an opportunity for the slightest bit, candidates have to make the most of it.

"You can't beat getting an opportunity," said GOP National Chairman Reince Preibus in an interview just before last Thursday's debate, "especially when you've got 17 candidates."
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