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Kentucky Senate clears hurdle for Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY), on Capitol Hill in Washington, on March 12, 2014.
Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY), on Capitol Hill in Washington, on March 12, 2014.

Sen. Rand Paul cleared the next hurdle to possibly run for re-election and the White House in 2016 at the same time.

The Senate in his home state of Kentucky passed a bill Tuesday paving the way for the Republican senator, who has hinted he’s mulling over a presidential bid in two years.

Current state law bans candidates from running for more than one position, but this legislation would clarify that it doesn’t apply to people running for president or vice president.

"We thank the Kentucky Senate for recognizing the need to clarify the law to avoid a conflict with the U.S. Constitution," said Paul senior adviser Doug Stafford, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. "Federal law governs federal elections, and the Supreme Court has made it clear that states cannot impose additional qualifications beyond those in the Constitution.” He called the vote “a step forward in clarifying that the Kentucky statute does not apply to federal elections."

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The Republican-controlled body approved the measure, Senate Bill 205, in a 25-13 vote mostly on party lines. However, the bill could face a harder time cracking through the Democratic-led Kentucky House.

Paul has been searching for a legislative solution to his situation, reportedly asking Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer to make the bill happen.

The Libertarian firebrand recently pulled ahead in the polls among other rumored GOP presidential contenders.

Paul won his second presidential straw poll Saturday at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in New Hampshire. He got 14.7% of the vote, narrowly edging out Chris Christie who’s embroiled in a bridge lane closure scandal. The New Jersey governor received 12.9%. And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Dr. Ben Carson all tied for third place. 

At the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month, Paul also topped the straw poll with 31% of the vote.