Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

McConnell Supports Kentucky Ballot Change Pushed by Paul to Allow Multiple Candidacies

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he supports legislation passed by a Kentucky Senate committee Wednesday to change the state’s election law to allow one candidate to run in multiple federal races on the same ballot.

The law would potentially benefit current Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is up for re-election to his Senate seat in 2016 but has his eye on a potential White House run.

“I favor that,” McConnell told CQ Roll Call in the Capitol basement Wednesday afternoon. “Did they approve that? Yeah. I think that’s a good idea.”

McConnell’s support is not a surprise given his political alliance with Paul, whose early endorsement in this year’s Senate GOP primary in the Bluegrass State has helped gird the leader against a potential primary upset from the right.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the legislation has little chance of passing the Democrat-controlled state house, and it’s unclear whether a legislative fix would be needed for primary ballots. But that hasn’t stopped Paul from actively pursuing the change.

“I think it sounds like a good idea,” Paul told CQ Roll Call teasingly Wednesday. “The session goes pretty quickly, you know it ends in a week or two, but we’ll see if the Democrats bring it up.”

When asked how to clear such legislation through a chamber controlled by the opposite party, Paul offered a two-part answer.

“Do you have any ideas?” he asked, before quipping, “One solution would be to make it a Republican-controlled House.”

  • southerndemnut

    Who is surprised by this? Actually there is two parts to this: 1) It allows Paul run for two offices so if his Presidential aspirations do not work out, he can potentially remain as a Senator; 2) If the current law stands, if Paul decides to run for President, he will have to vacate his seat creating an open election. Should McConnell lose this November and Paul runs for President, it has the potential of putting two Senate seats in play.

  • Nick10

    Great idea Rand Paul. Why not run for a half a dozen ballot seats. Better safe than sorry. Good luck.

  • mabramso

    Contrary to popular belief, Paul has several options for running for both at the same time. The KY filing deadline is in January, and if he runs for President but is doing poorly, he can withdraw and then file for re-election. If he is doing well, he can choose to run for both by simply not filing to run for President in the Kentucky primary. That is, he runs for the GOP nomination in every other state EXCEPT Kentucky and sacrifices those delegates. Of course, if he actually wins the GOP nomination, then he would probably have to sacrifice his Senate seat.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...