Rand Paul files to run for U.S. President, re-election to U.S. S - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Rand Paul files to run for U.S. President, re-election to U.S. Senate seat

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul has finally made it official by filing to run for two major offices at the same time.

He signed the papers on Monday for both re-election to the U.S. Senate and Kentucky's new Republican Presidential caucus.

“It is my pleasure today to announce my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States and for the re-election to the U.S. Senate in Kentucky,” Paul told a group of supporters gathered at the Jefferson Co. Republican Party’s West Louisville headquarters.

Paul was joined by Kentucky's new Republican leadership that swept into power earlier this month, including Governor-elect Matt Bevin.

During his campaign, Bevin said his first choice for president was Ben Carson, but on this occasion he was standing with Rand. In fact, Bevin and Lt. Governor-elect Jenean Hampton signed Paul's filing papers as his official witnesses.

“He has done more to create the dialogue that is happening in 2016 in this presidential race than anybody, bar none,” said Bevin.

Paul's filing of papers for two offices was made possible when the state Republican Party changed its presidential selection process from a primary to a caucus, allowing Paul to run in the presidential caucus in March and the Senate primary in May. 

But Paul is in the lower tier in the presidential polls, and WDRB News asked him if running for reelection to the Senate reflects a lack of confidence in his White House campaign.

“I think what it reflects is that people see my voice as a unique voice in the U.S. Senate. And they want my voice still to be heard, nationally. And, while I am an optimist, everybody knows there's 10-15 other men and women running,” said Paul.

Paul's Senate campaign was made easier by Republican Mike Harmon's defeat of Democratic State Auditor Adam Edelen.

Edelen was widely believed to be gearing up for a senate run.

“I'm sure it helped. Obviously, I think Rand, a man of character, was going to do it either way, run for both of them either way. But I'm sure that probably took a little pressure off,” Harmon told WDRB News.

Rand Paul fans who lined up for a book signing at a Barnes and Noble store in Louisville had no problem with his running for two offices.

Whitney Sims had no hesitation when asked if she had a preference for the office she would like to see Paul win.

“President. I'd like to see him as President, but either one,” she said.

“I hope he wins the presidency and, if not, we'll keep him in the Senate, and he can keep doing his good work,” said Duane Stout.

The Democrats say they will field a strong candidate to challenge Paul for his senate seat.

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