How Rand Paul plans to run for both president and Senate
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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Pelosi names first-ever House whistleblower ombudsman director The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (R-Ky.) has asked the Republican Party of Kentucky to create a presidential caucus in 2016 instead of holding the traditional primary as a workaround to a state law that prohibits him from running for the Senate and the White House simultaneously.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported on Thursday that Paul sent a letter to the Kentucky GOP’s central committee requesting the change, arguing that it will prevent a “costly and time-consuming legal challenge.”


Kentucky law bars a candidate from appearing on the same ballot for multiple offices. Paul has already announced that he’s running for reelection to the Senate, but he’s also gearing up for a presidential run.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), who lost her election challenge to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2014, has threatened to take Paul to court to block him from running for both offices simultaneously.

Holding an early presidential caucus instead of the planned late primary in Kentucky is a loophole Paul’s team has said could provide an opening for him to run for both.

In a December conference call announcing that Paul would seek reelection to the Senate, Paul senior adviser Doug Stafford said the campaign was already in discussions with the GOP in Kentucky about making the change.

“Kentucky state law provides for the opportunity to hold whatever kind of process you want to hold,” Stafford said at the time.

In his letter to the Kentucky GOP, Paul argued that the Bluegrass State would have more sway in determining the Republican presidential nominee if it accelerated its schedule by moving to an early caucus instead of a late primary.

“It has been suggested by others for several cycles that Kentucky has no influence on the presidential process because of our late primary," Paul said in the letter obtained by the Lexington Herald-Leader. "By May 2016, the GOP will likely have decided its nominee, rendering our votes useless in deciding anything."

"As most of you know, moving up Kentucky's presidential primary election would also allow me to make a run for the nomination and seek re-election," he added.

Paul also argued that the move to a caucus could be a one-time change and that the party could revert to a primary in subsequent years.

If the Kentucky GOP does not comply, Paul could also simply not run in the Kentucky presidential primary or could challenge the law in court.

“If he chooses to run for national office there are multiples avenues for how he can do that,” Stafford said in December. “For now he’s 100 percent focused on running for Senate in Kentucky.”

Stafford said at the time that Paul’s team hasn’t “abandoned any options” but also hasn’t “settled on any options” yet.