If Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) decides to run for president, he doesn’t want to lose his Senate seat in the process.
So Paul is reportedly asking Kentucky lawmakers to file a bill clarifying a state law that prevents candidates from holding or running for two offices at the same time, allowing him to hedge his bet if he launches a 2016 bid.
“Yes, I am working on clarifying an ambiguous state law that Rand Paul believes is unconstitutional if it is interpreted to bar running for re-election to the Senate and for president at the same time,” state Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer (R) told The Washington Times on Monday.
Thayer also told Louisville radio station WFPL that Paul pitched the idea to the entire GOP caucus earlier this month.
“[He] explained much like I just did the situation in that he is running for the U.S. Senate in 2016, but that he is strongly considering seeking the Republican nomination for President,” he said. “I hope he does.”
The Washington Times pointed out that seeking two federal offices at the same time isn’t unique to Paul’s situation. Both Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) ran for vice president while seeking re-election to Congress in 2012 and 2008, respectively — but running for president is a whole different ballgame.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.