Kentucky GOP files legislation for twin Paul 2016 presidential, Senate bids
March 4th, 2014
05:24 PM ET
10 months ago

Kentucky GOP files legislation for twin Paul 2016 presidential, Senate bids

Updated 6:31 p.m. ET, 3/6/2014

Washington (CNN) - A top Kentucky legislative leader allied with GOP Sen. Rand Paul filed a bill Thursday pushing for changes that would allow the libertarian-leaning lawmaker to simultaneously seek both the presidency and re-election to his Senate seat in 2016.

Republican state Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer's bill says Kentucky's law prohibiting running for two offices at the same time is meant to apply only to state-level offices - not federal offices such as the presidency, the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House.

The proposed legislation states that Kentucky's current law, "...shall not prevent a candidate's name from appearing on a voting machine or absentee ballot twice if one (1) or both of the offices sought is a federal office."

"Senator Paul is very popular here, and I personally don't want to deny Kentuckians the chance to vote for or against one of their own for the Senate if he's also nominated for the presidency," Thayer told CNN on Tuesday.

A number of other states let politicians run for the House or Senate while also running for the White House, Thayer noted.

"It's not fair to Senator Paul if he can't do the same," he said. "Why should Kentucky be any different when it comes to one of their own running for president?"

Thayer told CNN he has spoken "in general terms" to Paul about potential changes to Kentucky's law.

"I'm a strong supporter of Paul's," Thayer said. "I hope he runs for president."

Doug Stafford, a political adviser for Paul, said, "We are not seeking to change the law, but rather to clarify that the Kentucky statute does not apply to federal elections."

Even if Kentucky's GOP-controlled Senate passes changes to the current state law, it appears unlikely those changes could pass Kentucky's Democratic-controlled House of Representatives or win the approval of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo "believes people ought to run for one office at a time," said Brian Wilkerson, a spokesman for the speaker.

Stumbo told reporters last Friday that he believes running for two offices at once would set "a bad precedent."

A Kentucky House Democratic staffer told CNN it is "very unlikely" changes being contemplated by the GOP-controlled Senate will pass both chambers of the state Legislature.

Paul, a tea party favorite, is considered a likely contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. If that bid doesn't pan out, a Senate re-election victory would allow him to maintain his foothold on Capitol Hill for another six years, starting in January 2017.

Several members of recent presidential tickets have essentially hedged their political bets by running for re-election while simultaneously pursuing higher office.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan ran for re-election to his seat in 2012 while serving as the GOP vice presidential nominee on Mitt Romney's ticket. Then-Sen. Joe Biden also ran for re-election in Delaware while simultaneously serving as then-Sen. Barack Obama's running mate in 2008.

In 2000, Joe Lieberman was re-elected to his Senate seat in Connecticut while losing his bid for the vice presidency when he and Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee, narrowly lost the election to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

CNN's Alison Harding, Paul Steinhauser and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report


Filed under: Kentucky • Rand Paul
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. OrdeMiller

    Little poodle-hair-wigged Greenwald/Snowden cabal collaborator, Randy, knows cons have no chance in a national election so why not fleece gullible cons at home?
    And Chinese Communist collaborator Issa humiliates Fox News By Lying about Lois Lerner testifying at IRS hearing.

    Typical con politician day, eh?

    March 4, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Smitty

    You just cant make this stuff up.

    March 4, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Ted Cruz, Ron Paul, Jeb Bush, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rowe, Sheldon Adelson, Ann Coulter, Donald Trump, Mike Pence these are the idiots for WH. Why can't Hugo Chavez?

    March 4, 2014 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Rand should also include being allowed to run for mayor, dog catcher, and PTA president in the hopes he can win one office. I

    March 4, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. don in albuquerque

    Gurgyl

    William Shatner for President (well makes as much sense as the GOTP lineup).

    March 4, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Smart of Sen Paul to keep his day job, especially when he doesn't stand a chance against Hillary Clinton.

    March 4, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Chris-E...al

    Hugo Chavez is dead ! Him and the dems said bush did it remember ?

    March 4, 2014 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    If Rant had any confidence, he'd run for one of the other, not this "safety school" approach. What a loser!

    March 4, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    This clown is just one of the reasons why the republican party is dead to me. Has been for a long time, and will continue to be this way until the republican party embraces education, over hot button emotional issues that splinter the country.

    March 4, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. Bill from GA

    That was one scary headline.

    Just reading the headline, I thought there might be A twin to Ron Paul.

    God Help America if THAT were so.

    March 4, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. salty dog

    I just said it, the gop will change or ignore laws to suit their needs, shameless

    March 4, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Trying to have his cake and eat it too haha.

    March 4, 2014 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    He wants to be humiliated twice. Let him.
    This is how the other Ryan got to keep his job after the failed candidacy of the twit.

    March 4, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. DENNA

    If the Repukelican party does not pull its collective head out of its collective tush, they are going to be obsolete. America has moved into the 21st Century. They should too.

    March 4, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. rs

    Well, thats just fine. Mr. Paul can just "copy" what he has to write for one election filing for the other. He' really good at copying…..

    March 4, 2014 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. Pander Bear

    That's awesome because it means he'll lose both races. Love how the GOP bends the rules whenever it suits.

    March 4, 2014 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  17. Republican supporter of Pres. Obama

    Sorry no votes for these jokes. They do not know anything about the rest of the country or the rest of the world for that matter.

    March 4, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Why not let him be both , after all , he's the Aqua Buddha !

    What is wrong with the water ?

    March 4, 2014 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Chris-E...al

    You left out Billy ray ! He did sing Achy breaky heart ! Heck ill vote for tutle man 2 ! ye ye ye yd ya ! He made live n! Or oh jim tom. it went dat dat dat away?

    March 4, 2014 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  20. chrissy

    Lol @ Gurgyl and in a few years we will have George P. Bush woohoo eh? Just what this country needs! NOT!

    March 4, 2014 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  21. Bubba

    Republicans have never met a rule they are not willing to undo for their own benefit. Such is the Moral Code of the GOP.

    March 4, 2014 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  22. kamarasune

    I'm sure he'll get it Kentucky loves Rand Paul.

    March 5, 2014 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  23. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    HILARIOUS watching Guns Over People tea potty wingnuts walk the plank toward another November. They are desperate.

    March 5, 2014 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  24. Minnie Mouse

    No one person needs to be running for two elected official positions at one time. Who's going to know which position to take you seriously for? It will make you look like your indecisive and your goal in the end is to just hopefully land one of them to make sure you have a job in the end. You votes will go to other candidates who know what they want to do.

    March 5, 2014 07:06 am at 7:06 am |