The Kentucky Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would make clear U.S. Sen. Rand Paul may run for two federal offices at once. Household political names like Lyndon Johnson, Joe Lieberman, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan were bandied about during a brief debate, the heart of which is whether Paul can run for president and for re-election to his Senate seat on the same Kentucky ballot in 2016. Kentucky’s junior senator has said he is considering a run for the White House, but that he will definitely run for his Senate seat the same year, putting him at odds with a state law banning the same candidate from appearing on a ballot twice.
Paul and his allies believe the state law doesn’t apply to federal elections, pointing to a Supreme Court ruling that said an Arkansas law instituting congressional term limits ran afoul of the U.S. Constitution.
“We thank the Kentucky Senate for recognizing the need to clarify the law to avoid a conflict with the U.S. Constitution,” said Doug Stafford, a senior advisor to Paul. “Federal law governs federal elections, and the Supreme Court has made it clear that states cannot impose additional qualifications beyond those in the Constitution. The vote today was a step forward in clarifying that the Kentucky statute does not apply to federal elections.”