U.S. Senator Rand Paul

Rand Paul is suspending his presidential campaign, saying that he’ll focus his energy on running for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat.

“Although, today I will suspend my campaign for President, the fight is far from over,” Paul said in a statement Wednesday morning.

“I will continue to carry the torch for Liberty in the United States Senate and I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term.”

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Kentuckians seeking to run for Congress or Senate as a Democrat or Republican have until this afternoon to officially declare a candidacy.

Through Monday afternoon, only a handful of Kentuckians were vying for the jobs.

Photo provided by Rand Paul for US Senate

Rand Paul’s attempt to simultaneously run for two major public offices got a boost this week from the the Kentucky Democratic Party’s implosion.

For months, political observers have speculated that Paul’s shaky White House campaign was hurting his chances of winning re-election next year to the U.S. Senate.

Photo provided by Rand Paul for US Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign has provided the required funding for a Kentucky Republican presidential caucus in 2016.

Rand Paul / paul.senate.gov

  The Republican Party of Kentucky’s central committee on Saturday approved a plan to hold a presidential caucus next year instead of a primary election, allowing Sen. Rand Paul to run for president and re-election to the U.S. Senate simultaneously in the state.

WKMS/John Null

 

In about a week, Kentucky Republicans will decide the fate of Sen. Rand Paul’s plan to simultaneously run for president and the U.S. Senate next year.

The state party’s central committee — which is made up of more than 300 Republicans from across the state — will vote on whether to approve a presidential caucus slated for March 5, 2016, a Saturday.

In interviews this week with roughly 30 Republican county chairs and vice chairs, WFPL News found mixed opinions on the presidential caucus idea.

Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

The state’s Republican Party leaders will vote in about two weeks on plans to hold a caucus instead of a presidential primary next year. 

The caucus is aimed at allowing Senator Rand Paul to run for both president and his senate seat simultaneously. 

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Ahead of Thursday night's Republican presidential debate, a top ally to U.S. Senator Rand Paul has announced he’s taking a leave of absence from Paul's super PAC. 

Jesse Benton, who headed America's Liberty, is under federal indictment for his alleged role in a bribery scheme. 

Rand Paul / paul.senate.gov

  Presidential candidate and Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky made a stop in the Russell Neighborhood in West Louisville Monday.

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

Sen. Rand Paul made headlines recently with his one-man effort to roll back government surveillance. And that's the just beginning of Paul's plan to dismantle big chunks of the federal government.

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