Bowling Green's Rand Paul suspends his presidential campaign
It's a journey that started back in April of 2015 for Bowling Green resident and U.S. Senator Rand Paul, and today his bid to become the 45th president comes to an end.
"I think we were actually growing, and I think that our performance in the debate, most people were saying we added a unique voice in the debates. It just wasn't growing enough. It's all about winning in electoral politics, and it didn't look like we had enough votes to win going into New Hampshire," said Paul.
Fresh off of his fifth place finish earlier this week in the Iowa caucus, Paul said he just didn't have the support to win.
"We were excited about the outpouring of support, particularly from college students. I think the night before the election we had 1,500 students from Iowa, but once you counted all of the votes up, it just wasn't enough and you have to have enough to win. So, we're excited about the message still. We're excited about the outpouring of support, but we think it's now time to bring that message to Kentucky voters," said Paul.
In August, Paul pleaded his case for a presidential caucus that would allow him to run for both the White House and the Senate.
The Republican Party approved the caucus to happen on March 5th, if he would pay for part of it.
Now Paul says even though he's no longer running, he'll be very involved in the process.
"My volunteers are going to be fanning out across Kentucky, sitting at tables and getting people to come to the caucus. So, I'm going to help to promote it and we're really excited about the caucus," said Paul.
Paul also added this now makes Kentucky relevant in the presidential race.
"I think this will be the first time you'll actually have people campaigning in Kentucky. Now, with me being out of the race, I think there will be even more coming to Kentucky," said Paul.
Paul added this is actually going to be a financial positive for the Kentucky republican party.
"The presidential caucus at this point, looks like it's going to be a money raiser for the Republican Party. All 11 candidates have paid a filing fee, and we actually think we're doing very well with the finances of it," added Paul.
For Paul, he's thankful for his supporters and now his focus will turn to his senate race.
"I've talked to a lot of my supporters in the last couple days, and they're excited too. They want me to go on. They want me to grow that message, but it's going to be from the U.S. Senate, which is a very prominent position. I'm very honored to be in the U.S. Senate and represent Kentucky. I'll keep fighting for the things that I think people in Kentucky want," said Paul.
Paul will find out this year, if Kentucky wants him back for another term.
That U.S. Senate race will likely feature Paul versus Lexington mayor and Democrat Jim Gray.