Sen. Rand Paul’s path to the White House has a circuitous and difficult road ahead should he ultimately decide on a bid for the presidency in 2016.
Paul is a U.S. Senator from Kentucky in which the state’s laws, unlike most other states, prevent any candidate from appearing on the same ballot twice in which the statute declares specifically, “no candidate’s name shall appear on any voting machine or absentee ballot more than once.”
Paul’s campaign team announced formally this week that the senator will be seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016 but was mum on any plans for the White House. But internal reports indicate that the team is seeking a number of avenues to side-step or outright challenge the law.
One plan, and arguably the most difficult, involves Paul working with the Kentucky GOP to move the state’s May presidential primary to a March caucus. This would allow for a nominating event that would have the same practical effect for the primary while also allowing Paul to appear on the May primary ballot for Senate.
A second plan would have Paul’s campaign (or a surrogate) file a lawsuit in federal court directly challenging the constitutionality of the law, which some believe has some precedent given the court’s having already struck down state-imposed term limits.
Another plan involves Paul filing for both offices and daring Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes–who just lost in her bid to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell–to disallow Paul to file for both. If that transpired, the speculation is that Paul and the Kentucky GOP would put all its chips on the table to defeat Grimes’ re-election bid in 2015 and to replace her with a Republican who would surely permit the double-filing.