Sen. Rand Paul is asking Kentucky Republican leaders to consider trading their presidential primary for a caucus, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported
Paul, who is among several politicos who may be considering a GOP presidential bid, wrote a letter obtained by the Herald-Leader to the state's Republican Party central committee on Feb. 9 asking them to consider making the change.
In his correspondence, Paul noted that his home state could be more relevant to the presidential nominating process by holding the caucus, the Herald-Leader said.
"As you may have heard, you, as a member of the Kentucky Republican Central Committee, will be the one to decide if you want to help me get an equal chance at the nomination," Paul wrote.
The committee is set to meet on March 7 and Paul plans to be there to share his ideas in person as they vote on such a change. He defended that the swap didn't come from him but was an idea long pondered because the state holds a late primary, taking it off the political map in its national influence.
Paul faces the challenge of mounting a Senate re-election bid in 2016 or making a run for president. Kentucky law does not allow him to appear on the same ballot twice. "As most of you know, moving up Kentucky's presidential primary election would also allow me to make a run for the nomination and seek re-election," Paul noted in his letter. The Herald-Leader added "his letter carries the tone of a man who has made up his mind."
Paul had already signaled his plan to run for Senate re-election in a December conference call, according to The Hill
. His senior adviser, Doug Stafford, mentioned the caucus idea during the call, noting that "Kentucky state law provides for the opportunity to hold whatever kind of process you want to hold."
Should Kentucky Republicans not approve the caucus request, Paul could mount a legal challenge, The Hill noted. But he said in his letter that he hoped to bypass what would certainly become a costly and time-consuming endeavor.
"I believe I can keep helping the people of Kentucky as Senator, but I think there is no doubt I could help them even more as President," Paul said in his letter, described by the Associated Press as "his strongest sign yet
that he will run for president."
"I hope that would make Kentucky proud if I were to do so," Paul added.
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