A grass-roots movement formed several months ago to draft Dr. Rand Paul to run for the U.S. Senate after incumbent Republican Senator Jim Bunning. Bunning has left hints he may not run for reelection. Bunning, who had a career spanning 15 years in Major League Baseball prior to election to Congress, has polling numbers as low as 28 percent in Kentucky. He has also openly feuded with the establishment Republican Senator from Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The 45-year-old Dr. Rand Paul became a medical doctor (opthamologist) after graduating from Duke medical school, the same medical school his obstetrician father attended. “We believe that the Republican Party in many ways has lost their believability on issues like the deficit.” Dr. Paul told supporters on his exploratory campaign website. “We have a chance to win in this primary.”
Dr. Paul has already garnered more than $64,000 in donations in addition to more than 2,700 supporters on his Facebook cause.
Rand Paul has never stood for elective office himself, but he hasn’t avoided the political limelight either. In 1984 (at 21-years-old), he stood in for his father Ron Paul to debate U.S. Senate candidate Phil Gramm. Dr. Rand Paul has been head of Kentucky Taxpayers United for the past 15 years, and has worked for his father's campaigns since he was 11-years-old, according to his father, Dr. Ron Paul in an on-line endorsement.
Dr. Paul will not likely seek the Republican nomination alone, as Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson has also formed an exploratory committee to run for the Republican senate nomination. Grayson is seen as the hand-picked candidate by Mitch McConnell, and Democrats are claiming they can beat either Bunning or Grayson in a general election. “We feel that Democrats can pick up Kentucky’s senate seat whether Sen. Bunning or Senator McConnell’s handpicked candidate Trey Grayson is running.” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Eric Schultz told CBSNews.com.
With the nationwide rejection of establishment Republicans in the past two congressional election cycles, Rand Paul's strict constitutionalism may be the GOP’s only hope of holding on to the Kentucky senate seat.