U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has asked state Republican leaders to hold a presidential caucus in 2016 instead of the usual primary vote, which would allow him to simultaneously run for his Senate seat and president, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported on Thursday.
The Herald-Leader reports that Paul sent a letter dated Feb. 9 to the state Republican Party’s central committee asking for the change. State law prohibits candidates from appearing twice on a ballot.
The caucus would be ostensibly held earlier than the May primary, potentially also giving the state a greater impact over who’ll be the Republican nominee for president next year. The Herald-Leader also reports that Paul pitched the caucus idea as a “one-time change.”
The story adds:
It is unclear from the letter how a move to a caucus would help Republicans if Paul were to win the nomination for president. Under Kentucky law, there is no provision for substituting candidates on the ballot after the filing deadline, which means the GOP probably couldn’t field another candidate for U.S. Senate if Paul also won that primary election.
Paul was first elected in 2010. He hasn’t said officially whether he’s running for president next year. But The Courier-Journal recently reported that two-thirds of Paul’s 153 recent engagements since January 2014 were outside of the state.