by William Bigelow 12 Mar 2014
The Courier-Journal reports that Kentucky Senate committee voted Wednesday to allow Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to place his name on the 2016 ballot twice, once for his reelection as a senator and once for president of the United States.
Paul made the request because Kentucky’s state law states that he would have to leave the Senate if he wanted his name on the Kentucky GOP presidential primary ballot. The Senate State & Local Government Committee voted 8-2, with the two nay votes being Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said there would likely be a floor vote on the issue next week. GOP supporters said that the U.S. Constitution does not allow states to decide who can run in federal elections.
The original bill, written by Thayer, stated that anyone running for federal office could appear twice on a state ballot, but during the committee’s meeting, he changed the wording so that only a presidential or vice-presidential candidate could take advantage of the opportunity. Thayer noted that Sen. Morgan McGarvey, a Democrat from Louisville, voted for the bill; Thayer said, “It gives me a bipartisan bill.”
McGarvey simply stated, “as a policy matter, I’m not opposed to it.” However, House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg) disagreed, saying that a candidate “who can’t make up his mind” should not be elected to any office.