Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, officially announced Tuesday he is running for a second term in the U.S. Senate even as he contemplates a bid for the presidency in 2016.
Mr. Paul said he first ran for office because he was alarmed by problems facing the country such as “a stagnant and uneven economy, a growing national debt, out-of-control federal spending, a disastrous health care plan, the assault on our civil rights and liberties, and a misguided foreign policy.”
He said he’s drawn attention to those problems and others in Kentucky, “like the War on Coal, an overzealous EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, and the ban on industrial hemp.”
“I have sought to work with any and all who are eager to find solutions and promote reforms,” Mr. Paul said. “I stand with Kentucky in this fight, and I hope to continue together in the task of repairing and revitalizing our great nation.”
Mr. Paul on Tuesday rolled out a list of endorsements from Republican leaders in Kentucky, including incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who actually endorsed Mr. Paul’s primary opponent in 2010.
Mr. McConnell had previously told the Lexington Herald-Leader after the 2014 midterms that whatever Mr. Paul decides to do, “he’ll be able to count on me.”
For his part, Mr. Paul told the Herald-Leader he was still “four to six months” away from a decision on a presidential bid.
Kentucky law precludes a candidate’s name from appearing twice on the same ballot, and Democrats managed to hold on to the state House in the fall midterms, likely quashing the possibility of changing the law legislatively for the time being.
But potential workarounds that have been broached include turning the party’s presidential nomination process into a caucus, or leaving Mr. Paul’s name off of the Kentucky presidential primary ballot altogether, though he would seemingly have the same issue for the fall general election in 2016.
For his part, Mr. Paul told the Herald-Leader “I don’t think we’ve gotten that far yet” as to whether he’s considered the details about how the two campaigns might coexist.
“We’re still talking it over with family and also kind of looking to see if the message is resonating and we think it has a chance,” he said.
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