Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul is poised to launch a presidential bid in Louisville Tuesday morning.

Political experts say the campaign of Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator  will likely be very different than any other hopeful for the Republican nomination in 2016. The main difference: Paul has set his sights on liberal voters.

For the past several months, Paul has been touring the country holding town hall-style meetings, mostly in inner cities.

Sen. Rand Paul's advisers are preparing to launch a White House bid on April 7.

A senior Paul adviser said Tuesday the Kentucky Republican is set to make his presidential ambitions official in Louisville, Kentucky. He then is expected to visit early nominating states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

The adviser demanded anonymity to speak ahead of Paul's public announcement. The adviser adds that Paul could still pull the plug on a campaign, although that is not expected to happen.

Paul's team has booked an event at Louisville's Galt House hotel. His supporters have also received invitations to that site.

Details of the kick-off event were first reported by The Lexington Herald-Leader.

A voting rights advocate says a potential Republican Party presidential caucus in Kentucky next year would need to include specific rules to protect overseas voters’ rights.

This month, state GOP leaders gave preliminary approval to conducting a presidential caucus in 2016 instead of the usual primary. The change was requested by Sen. Rand Paul—a likely 2016 presidential candidate—to get around a state law banning candidates from appearing twice on a ballot.

Grace Ramsey, a voting expert of the Maryland-based election reform advocacy group Fair Vote, said a presidential caucus itself isn’t a problem. But because caucuses consist of sequential rounds of in-person voting, the process of including absentee voters can be tricky.

“Obviously this is this in-person process and if you can’t be there it can cause problems for participation, and it is entirely possible to adjust and adapt and make sure that those voters can be included,” she explained.

One option Ramsey suggested: sending overseas voters ranked ballots. The voters would list candidates in order of preference; Ramsey said such a process would help ensure overseas voters’ opinions counted throughout the caucus’ process of elimination.

According to the Kentucky State Board of Elections’ records, 279 military and overseas voters returned absentee ballots for the 2012 Primary Election.

A committee of state GOP officials will decide the rules and procedures for the caucus and present it to a larger committee of the Kentucky GOP in August, when the party will hold a final vote on the matter.

The Kentucky Republican Party appears ready to change the way it nominates presidential candidates—something that would help Senator Rand Paul run for the White House and Senate in 2016.

The executive committee of the state party gave preliminary approval Saturday to Paul’s request to hold a presidential caucus next year, instead of a primary election.

A formal decision on the move will come in August.

State law prohibits a candidate from appearing for more than one office on the same ballot.

By going to a caucus system, Kentucky Republicans are making it possible for Paul to seek Senate re-election and the presidency at the same time.

A county GOP leader told WKU Public Radio that executive committee members were told not to speak to reporters about the decision.

But he confirmed the vote to move to a caucus next year was unanimous.

WKU PBS

U.S. Senator Rand Paul will be in Bowling Green this weekend, asking fellow Republicans to change the way they nominate presidential candidates.

The Republican Party of Kentucky’s executive committee is meeting Saturday afternoon in Warren County, and Paul is hoping they will endorse his plan to replace the state’s presidential primary with a caucus.

In a primary, the winner is determined by counting ballots. A caucus counts the number of supporters who appear at meetings across the state on a specified day.

Paul wants the state GOP to move to a caucus so that he could run for both President and another U.S. Senate term at the same time. Current Kentucky law prohibits a candidate from appearing on the same ballot for multiple offices.

The Associated Press reports Paul believes a caucus would also offer military personnel greater opportunities to participate.

Kentucky is home to two military bases and absentee voters have posed problems for other caucuses around the country. A spokesman for Paul noted a caucus gives organizers more options to accommodate military voters.

A published report says Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is eyeing April 7 as the date he will announce whether or not he’s running for president.

The story in The New York Times quoted anonymous sources close to the Bowling Green Republican as saying only family doubts regarding a run could keep Paul from entering the race.  If Paul officially enters the GOP primary field at such an early date, it would give him 10 months to raise money and hire staff ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

The report says Paul would most likely declare his White House bid in Kentucky, followed by a tour of states with early nominating contests, such as Iowa, New Hampsire, and South Carolina.

Paul has already announced plans to run for re-election to the Senate in 2016. Kentucky law prohibits a candidate from appearing on the same ballot for two different offices. Paul is actively lobbying the state Republican Party 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.

WKU PBS

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.”

Paul Says He Agrees With Holder on Some Issues

Feb 9, 2015
WKU PBS

Republican presidential prospect Rand Paul says he agrees with outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder on some criminal justice issues.

Speaking at a rally in a Des Moines-area winery, Paul says he applauds Holder's efforts to reduce seizure of property from people facing no criminal charges. He also supports reducing penalties for possession of marijuana.

Paul says jailing young adults for "55 years for selling marijuana is obscene," and endorses getting them "back to work and back into productive society."

The chairman of the Republican Party of Texas is stepping down from his role to join Sen. Rand Paul's likely presidential campaign.

Steve Munisteri tells The Associated Press that he will become a senior adviser to Paul and help him plan a communications strategy. He joins a roster of other well-regarded operatives and advisers who would be the backbone of a Paul campaign.

Munisteri decided against joining the likely campaigns of two other Texans: Sen. Ted Cruz and former Gov. Rick Perry.

Munisteri said Thursday that he has known Paul for 34 years, dating back to when Paul's father, former congressman Ron Paul, represented Texas for 11 full terms.

Rand Paul is heading to Texas this weekend to headline party fundraisers in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Paul Tries To Distance Himself From Isolationist Past

Dec 22, 2014
WKU Public Radio

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is taking online digs at potential GOP presidential rival Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida over President Barack Obama's new Cuba policy.

In posts on Twitter, Paul on Friday accused Rubio of acting like an "isolationist" who wants to retreat to the nation's borders and "build a moat."

Paul wrote, "I reject this isolationism."

He was responding to Rubio's comments in an interview Thursday night with Fox News, in which Rubio said Paul had "no idea what he's talking about" when it comes to Cuba.

Paul says the U.S. embargo against Cuba hasn't worked and he's supportive of opening trade with Cuba.

Rubio has been critical of Obama's push to establish ties with Cuba, saying it amounts to appeasing the Castro regime.

Paul Still Has Ballot Quandary in Kentucky

Nov 10, 2014

Update 1:32 p.m. CST

Politico reports that Sen. Paul's team believe they may have found a workaround to the law preventing the Bowling Green Republican for running simultaneous campaigns in 2016.

Original Associated Press story:

The Republican tidal wave that swept Democrats out of office nationwide didn't solve U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's potential quandary in Kentucky.

The Tea Party favorite could become entangled in a state election law if he runs for president and another Senate term in 2016.

Legislation aimed at tweaking the once-obscure law to ensure Paul could appear on Kentucky's ballot for both offices simultaneously easily passed the GOP-led Kentucky Senate this year. But the measure died across the Capitol in the House, where Democrats are in charge.

Democrats hung on to their House majority despite a strong GOP challenge in this month's election.

That's left the first-term senator and his supporters looking for other potential options.

Tuesday night belonged to the Republicans. Not only did they gain control of the Senate, but they upped their majority in the House and picked up several governorships, including in several staunchly blue states — Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois.

But beyond the Republican Party and the winning candidates, who else fared well — and not so well — on Tuesday? Here & Now’s Robin Young talks to NPR’s Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving about the winners and losers of the 2014 midterms.

Mitch McConnell isn’t the only Kentucky Senator basking in the afterglow of Tuesday night’s election results.

Rand Paul is using the election as an opportunity to criticize the woman many consider to be the next Democratic Presidential front-runner: Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Paul says he won’t formally decide on whether or not to launch a 2016 presidential bid until next spring. But the Bowling Green Republican is acting the part of a White House contender, and judging from recent comments, he firmly believes Hillary Clinton is his biggest obstacle to winning the presidential contest.

Paul has wasted no time in describing Tuesday night’s Republican victories around the nation as a “repudiation of Hillary Clinton.” In speeches and interviews following the election, Paul has pointed out that the former First Lady and New York Senator campaigned on behalf of several Democratic Senate candidates who ultimately lost—including Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky.

Paul To Campaign For McConnell On Monday

Oct 30, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul will campaign with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell on the day before Kentucky's pivotal Senate election.

Paul will join McConnell on seven campaign stops Monday at airports across the state. McConnell will begin the day in Louisville before ending in Bowling Green, Paul's hometown. McConnell is facing Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in one of the country's most watched Senate races.

 Paul has been campaigning in competitive elections across the country as he attempts to boost his profile ahead of a possible run for president in 2016.

Grimes campaigned with former President Bill Clinton on Thursday and is scheduled to appear with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday.

He's not even on the ballot this fall, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is beginning news TV ads to help Republicans in key elections across the country.

The prospective Presidential candidate is praising Kansas Senator Pat Roberts for voting against sending billions of dollars to "countries that hate us" in an advertising campaign set to begin running across Kansas Tuesday, according to an announcement released by Paul's political action committee, RandPac. A spokesman said the group is spending six figures on the ads, which reference the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, without mentioning it by name.

Paul will campaign in Kansas on Tuesday.

At the same time, Paul's organization is launching a series of on-line ads aimed at influencing Senate contests in Kentucky, New Hampshire, Iowa and North Carolina.

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