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Rand Paul Adviser Talks 2016 Plans

Paul is a Kentucky Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced Tuesday he will seek re-election to the Senate, while weighing a run for president as well.  

That decision will likely come in early spring, said Paul adviser Doug Stafford in an afternoon conference call with reporters.  

Earlier Tuesday, one of Paul's Republican colleagues in the Senate, Rob Portman of Ohio, announced he would not run for president, citing his Senate duties . Stafford brushed off such concerns on Paul's part. "Sen. Paul has an enormous amount of energy. If he chooses to run for national office he will still perform his duties as senator," Stafford said, noting Paul was a full-time practicing doctor at the time of his first campaign for Senate.  

Paul was not on the call with reporters, which took place while the Senate was voting.  

At the moment, Kentucky law prohibits a candidate from appearing on the ballot twice for two different offices. But Stafford stressed "there are avenues available to [Paul] should he decide to run for both offices at the same time." He declined to elaborate on the options, but said the campaign does not believe that law applies if one of the ballot lines is for federal office, and one possibility is getting a court to rule on that.  

Another possibility mentioned was making Kentucky's presidential primary a caucus, and moving the contest to earlier in the year.  

A third option  would be to oust Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and replace her with a Republican who might be more inclined to allow Paul on the ballot twice.  

Stafford said he did not anticipate Paul would be challenged in the Senate Republican primary, but said that if he were, the campaign "would be ready for that."  

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