For Now, Rand Paul Says He’s Running For Re-Election To The Senate

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is being talked about as a candidate for President in 2016, but for now he says he’s running for re-election to his Senate seat:

Sen. Rand Paul (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-Leaderreported.

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 toThe 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.

As I noted earlier this month, Paul faces something of a dilemma in that Kentucky law forbids him from both running for re-election and running for President on the same ballot and also requires him to make a decision regarding which race to pursue by some time in January 2016. Now, theoretically, Paul could chose to run for President but keep his name off the ballot in Kentucky so as to preserve his place on the ballot for re-election as a fall back position, however that would require him to pass up what would likely be an easy primary victory. Perhaps that’s why there’s some speculation that Kentucky legislators may consider changing ballot laws at their next session to allow Paul to be on the ballot for both positions. Absent that change, though, he’ll have a choice to make very early in the process.

H/T: United Liberty

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. stonetools says:

    Far important to me is that Kentucky’s other Senator is showing signs of vulnerability:

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would start off tied with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) if she chooses to run against him in 2014, according to a new poll commissioned by the Democratic-affiliated Senate Majority PAC.

    McConnell and Lundergan Grimes are tied at 45 percent apiece in the survey, conducted by Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    Go Ms. Grimes!

    Rand Paul to me is much more of a conservative than a “true ” libertarian-if there is such a thing. Wherever he runs, he’s going to need the hard core Tea Party Republican vote to win, so he’ll tailor his positions accordingly.

  2. Drats, the Democrats won’t have an easy general election win over a liar and/or one of the stupidest members of Congress?

  3. Caj says:

    Rand Paul does very well at running his mouth! Let Kentucky re-elect him, they are welcome to him. There’s no way this man could ever become president. Not of this country anyway. He and his other tea party buddies are so far out in left field with their nonsensical ideas none of them are what the country needs or deserves. Can the Republican party get any crazier? Wait for the next installment as God only knows who else may show up to join the crazy gang!

  4. Sam Malone says:

    Rand Paul stands as much chance of becoming President as I do of sleeping with Kate Upton.
    Actually…probably less chance.

  5. Me Me Me says:

    Sure Rand – it is just coincidence that you were campaiging in Iowa and NH in the last couple of weekends, and you handed over a $10K bribe to the NH GOP just because Kentucky.

  6. Andre Kenji says:


    Far important to me is that Kentucky’s other Senator is showing signs of vulnerability

    I don´t know. Lundergan Grimes is a stellar politician, the kind of savvy Red State Democrat that can easily win in states like Kentucky. She should be ahead, far ahead, of Mr. Tortoise.

  7. andrew e. says:

    I consider Rand the odds on favorite to win the Republican nomination. He seems to be the only one able to kinda-sorta straddle the line between the social-cons, the Tea Partiers and Libertarian elements, he’s reasonably good looking and charismatic, he can give a good speech, as of now there don’t seem to be any great skeletons in his closet and he has a recognizable name.

    He can be all things to all Republicans, or at least as close as anyone that now exists in the party. That’s all that ultimately is going to matter. There’s ample room for political f**k-ups between now and then but if he knows how to play the game he’s going to be it.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    I have no idea if Paul can win the Republican presidential primary, because Republicans, but he has no chance of winning the general election. His father is going to disqualify him. Sure in the Republican party pocketing millions of dollars from a Ku Klux Klan scale racist newsletter bearing your name can be written off with a “But I never read it and don’t know who was writing for it” but that isn’t going to wash with independents and of course Dems. And now that ol’ Ron has jumped right back in bed with the writers of those racist diatribes the minute he retired from public office, well, even Republicans will have a hard time believing he doesn’t also hold those beliefs.

    Oh, who am I kidding, of course Republicans will accept that. Because, Republicans.