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Kentucky GOP leaders hold vote on Rand Paul's election proposal

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 16: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) poses for a photo outside the Peppermill Restaurant & Fireside Lounge on January 16, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Paul is heavily speculated to enter the presidential race next year.

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has taken his first step toward running for president with state party leaders endorsing his plan for a presidential caucus in 2016.

The move clears the way for Paul to run for president and for re-election to his Senate seat without breaking a state law that bans candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election.

The state GOP's central committee must still sign off on the proposal in August, but Saturday's vote along with the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a clear indication the caucus will happen.

Paul has not said he is running for president. But the Kentucky Republican told reporters after the vote that he would likely be ex-communicated from the state party if he did not run.