State Sen. Damon Thayer introduced a bill Thursday afternoon that would clear the way for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul to seek re-election to the Senate and run for president on the same Kentucky ballot in 2016. Thayer, R-Georgetown, and other allies of Paul said the proposal would make clear that an existing state law prohibiting candidates from appearing twice on the same ballot applies only to those seeking state and local offices. Paul, who is openly flirting with a run for the White House in 2016, and his supporters say he already has the ability to pursue both seats at the same time, but the legislation filed Thursday would thwart any legal challenges to his potential multiple candidacies.
The U.S. Supreme Court, they said, already ruled on the matter when it decided in 1995 that an Arkansas state law imposing term limits on federal officials was unconstitutional.
“Federal law governs federal elections, and the Supreme Court has made it clear that states cannot impose additional qualifications beyond those in the Constitution,” said Doug Stafford, Paul’s senior adviser.
Stafford said Paul’s supporters “are not seeking to change the law, but rather to clarify that the Kentucky statute does not apply to federal elections.”