Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulOvernight Defense: Military won't lift transgender ban until Trump sends directions | House passes national security spending | Russian sanctions bill heads to Trump Overnight Cybersecurity: Senate sends Russia sanctions bill to Trump | Senators unveil email privacy bill | Russia tried to spy on Macron with Facebook Senate sends Russia sanctions bill to Trump's desk MORE (R-Ky.) said Friday that he would seek reelection in 2016, even as he’s widely seen as having interest in a presidential run that year.

Paul informed reporters of his decision before a local GOP dinner, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The first-term senator did not rule out a presidential bid in 2016, but said that, for now, he is only certain about running for another Senate term.

"For now, we know for sure is we're going to run for the U.S. Senate," Paul said at the Woodford County, Ky., Republican Party Reagan Dinner, according to The Daily Independent in Ashland, Ky. "The other decision can come later."

Paul has been thought to be a surefire candidate for the GOP nomination in 2016, when President Obama will be term-limited and Republicans will be looking to recapture the White House for the first time since 2008.

Paul has done little to tamp down the speculation.

His comments Friday come after Paul has made a string of visits to early primary or caucus states this year, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

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According to the Lexington paper, Paul’s choice to run for a second term in 2016 far from closes the door on a presidential bid.

Under Kentucky law, Paul couldn’t run for both the Senate and president on the same ballot, but state lawmakers reportedly are examining whether to make changes to that law. The Kentucky senator could also just decide not to place his name on the presidential primary ballot in his home state.

According to a poll released Friday, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSessions says he doesn't regret recusing himself from Russia probe Judiciary Committee Republicans want a second special counsel: report Fusion GPS: White House trying to smear us on Russia MORE would hold an early advantage over Paul and other top Republican presidential candidates in hypothetical 2016 match-ups in the critical swing state of Iowa.

The Quinnipiac University survey shows that Clinton would defeat Paul (R-Ky.) 46-42 percent among Iowa voters and best Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioMexican politicians have a new piñata: Donald Trump Bush ethics lawyer: Congress must tell Trump not to fire Mueller The private alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program  MORE (R-Fla.) 48-37 percent.

Vice President Biden doesn't fare as well, trailing Paul 44-39 percent and Rubio 40-39 percent.