Some time late last year (2014) I was talking with a gentleman who received a letter from US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).
The letter was a few pages in length and somewhere within, and in large bold print, was Rand Paul 2016. The letter also contain subtle indications, some less than others, that Paul was considering a possible run for President in 2016.
At the end of the letter a donation was requested and payments were to be sent to something-something (I can’t remember the wording) Rand Paul for US Senate.
The gentleman I was talking with was (before his talk) always talking about ‘integrity’ and ‘consequences’ and I really didn’t want to talk with him but we had some business ($) related things between us and I really didn’t have much choice in the matter.
I think that the reason he always talks about ‘integrity’ is because he doesn’t have much of it other than consistently trying to convince himself that he does.
At any rate, the gentleman knew (for our previous conversations) that I somewhat liked Senator Rand Paul. Now that he’d received a letter from Paul he couldn’t wait to tell me all about it and precisely how he felt about Paul sending a letter about running for President 2016 yet asking for donations to be sent to Rand Paul for US Senate 2016.
“Where’s Paul’s integrity!” he said. The gentleman then began a short verbal rant about Senator Paul not being able to run for both offices (Senate and President) at the same time and that if he’s running for president than why does he want people to send money to a Senate reelection campaign. “What kind of integrity is that!” he said.
This gentleman was about 25 years older than me and I didn’t really feel like arguing with him anyway (especially when he owes me money) so I just briefly stated that Paul’s letter is probably not at all atypical and that “regular” people like “us” probably don’t really have a good understating of the intricate rules of how running for both said offices, at the same time, would work. I then asked him how did he know that Paul can’t ran for both offices at the same time? Furthermore, how do we know for certain how donations must be used or collected?
He didn’t like that very much and he continued on with his rant (he didn’t offer evidence or sources) for a little while longer.
He told me that a person can’t run for two different offices at the same time nor can they use funds donated to one campaign (Senate) for another campaign (President).
I didn’t have anything specific that I could cite at that moment so I just remained silent and waited for the gentleman to get tired of talking. It’s not like he really cared about the letter or Senator Paul anyway, this was just an ‘old bear’ (him) vs the ‘cub’ (me) thing.
I made a mental note to look into the issue of running, simultaneously, for more than one office. It seemed like something that might be good to know more about. How would it work? Had it (I was sure it had been) been done before?
Fast forward to March, 2015. I was looking into potential candidates for President and Vice President 2016. One name that caught my attention (because I’d never heard of her) was US Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).
Ayotte won the 2010 election and assumed office of US Senator (New Hampshire) on January 3, 2011.
I asked a question about her (and also about US Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT) here at the blog. Bruce Steadman replied with his thoughts and also the following link:
Ballotpedia states (with a source) that, “New Hampshire law allows candidates to run for re-election and on the national ticket in the same year.”
It appears that Senator Ayotte may, if she desires to do so, run for both reelection to the US Senate and also for US President/Vice President.
Looks like thoroughly solid evidence that a person can run for both US Senate and President at the same time.
What about Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) though? How would things work in Kentucky?
According to the Slate.com in a February 18, 2015 article (by Josh Voorhees) titled, How Rand Paul Can Run For Both the Senate and the White House in 2016:
1. Kentucky law dictates that “no candidate’s name shall appear on any voting machine or absentee ballot more than once.” In other words, by law, Paul wouldn’t be able to compete in both his home state’s GOP presidential primary and Republican Senate primary, which will be held together on the same day in May 2016.
2. “There are avenues available to him, should he decide to run for both offices at the same time,” Doug Stafford, Paul’s top political strategist, told reporters on a conference call in early December. “I don’t think we have abandoned any option, nor have we settled on any option.”
3. Paul’s best-case scenario appears to be convincing the Kentucky Republican Party to abandon its current presidential nominating system, which assigns delegates to the national convention via its existing May 2016 primary. If Paul and his allies have their way, the state party would instead award delegates through a new presidential caucus that would be held in March 2016. That would allow Paul to compete in his state’s presidential nominating contest and then again two months later in the Senate primary without his name showing up twice on the same ballot.
4. There are also a number of other possible routes around or through Kentucky’s law, as the National Journal documented at length late last year. Alternative workarounds include challenging the law in federal court, or attempting to knock off Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes this coming November so the Democrat isn’t around to enforce a strict reading of the election law when the GOP primaries roll around next year.
5. Still, even if all else fails, Paul could simply press on by sitting out his home state’s presidential primary. The Kentucky law prevents a candidate from being listed on the same state ballot twice, but it doesn’t bar a candidate from competing in presidential nominating contests in the rest of the country.
Looks like thoroughly solid evidence that Senator Rand Paul can run for both (at the same time) reelection to the US Senate and for President. It appears that worst case scenario would be that Paul would be listed on the ballot for President in 49 states rather than 50.
For readers who are interested there is also another informative article on Senator Rand Paul and running for both Senate and President at the same time:
Inside Rand Paul’s Plan to Run for Senate and President at the Same Time, by Shane Goldmacher at the National Journal (December 1, 2014).
It should also be noted that running simultaneously for both US Senate and Vice President has been done in the very recently past and by some names that all of are familiar with. One of the candidates even won both of the elections:
Joe Biden: In 2008 he ran for both reelection to the US Senate (D-DE) and for Vice President. He won both of the elections.
Biden took the Senate’s oath of office in early January 2009 before stepping down a few days later to assume the vice presidency.
Paul Ryan: In 2012 he ran for both reelection to the US Congress (R-WI) and for Vice President. He won the reelection in US Congress.
Please exercise your free speech in the comments section below. There are no stipulations of political correctness on this blog. Speak your mind, give us your thoughts, both objective and subjective. Share your ideas, hunches, inklings or your expertise. Please provide recommendation and corrections if you spot errors in fact within the blog report. Lastly, remember that posting a comment is much like casting a vote, so please do so.