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Rand Paul can run for president, Senate at the same time

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will be able to run for president and reelection to the Senate simultaneously next year, the Kentucky Republican Party decided Saturday.

By a vote of 111 to 36, the party's central committee voted to hold presidential caucuses on March 5, separate from the state's other primary elections, which will be held May 17. A two-thirds majority was required for the motion to pass.

Kentucky state law prohibits a candidate's name from appearing twice on the same ballot, which has left Paul seeking a way to run for both offices simultaneously.

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Some Republicans in the state were concerned about the cost of holding caucuses, and they also weren't sold on the viability of Paul's presidential bid, given some lackluster fundraising figures and his middling position in the polls.

Paul pledged Saturday to pay the state GOP at least $250,000 by September 18 to pay for the caucuses.

"It's a great day. As you know, winning a two-thirds vote is not easy, but we exceeded two-thirds," Paul told reporters after the vote, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "We had a really, I think, a great discussion. It's almost a little bit like being on a jury. There's back and forth, and back and forth. Ultimately I think people got to the point where they were very comfortable with the idea."

Paul pitched the party members on the idea that holding a caucus in March could increase Kentucky's clout in the GOP nominating process by making the state's voice heard earlier.

"It really is about trying to grow the party," he said Saturday. "This is good for the Republican Party, that we'll be able to grow our list and excite people and get more people to turn out."

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