Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul makes re-election bid official, mum on other 2016 plans

12/02/2014 12:29 PM

After many months of raising questions about whether or not he will run for re-election to the U.S. Senate and for president in 2016, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul announced his intentions for one of the offices Tuesday as he said his name will be on the ballot for his Senate seat. But Paul remained quiet on a White House bid in the same year.

In a statement, Paul said he is running for re-election because he still has many concerns about the issues facing Kentucky and the nation.

“I have drawn attention to these problems and others here 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,” 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.”

The Kentucky senator has said for months that he will seek re-election and in November Paul told Politico he is working on finding a path to be able to run for president simultaneously.

During the 2014 session, state Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, introduced a bill to allow Paul to run for the U.S. Senate and the White House at the same time in 2016, but the bill did not garner enough support to pass the General Assembly. Current Kentucky statutes say a candidate can’t appear more than once on the ballot, but Thayer and other Paul supporters say that was meant only to apply to state candidates — not for federal offices.

Paul Senior Advisor Doug Stafford told reporters in a press call Tuesday the senator was back to voting in the Senate Tuesday after the announcement and would not make any decisions on a presidential run until the spring. Stafford did, however, say that they believe there are avenues for Paul to run for both offices.

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell expressed his support for Paul’s 2016 announcement by praising the junior senator for his efforts in his first term.

“Rand has been an irreplaceable partner in fighting for Kentucky priorities and Kentucky values. His innovative mind for conservative reforms that create jobs and get the economy working again is essential in the U.S. Senate as we seek to reverse Obama policies that have hurt Kentucky families,” McConnell said.

But McConnell wasn’t the only one with a statement about Paul Tuesday. In response to the announcement, the Democratic National Committee sent out a release stating that Paul’s “record of obstruction and self-interest” is not what the country needs.

“Whether he ultimately runs for Senate, President or both, Rand Paul is part of the problem in Washington,” DNC Press Secretary Michael Czin said in a statement. “His numerous budget proposals, if implemented, would hurt the middle class and our standing in the world. And to top it all off, Paul consistently maintains contradictory positions on a host of issues, like civil rights, aid to our allies like Israel and combating the threat of terrorism in the Middle East. Simply put: working Americans can’t afford leaders like Rand Paul.”

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Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.


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