Senator Rand Paul raises $250,000 before caucus deadline

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Senator Rand Paul raised the $250,000 his party needed before Friday's deadline, clearing the way for a presidential caucus on March 5.

Kentucky Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson issued a statement Friday afternoon that said Paul met the conditions set last month at the Republican State Central Committee meeting. Paul had until Friday to finish raising the $250,000 for the state party for the upcoming 2016 caucus. The caucus will allow Paul to run for president and re-election to his U.S. Senate seat at the same time without running afoul of state law.

"The conditions have been met for the Republican Party of Kentucky to move forward with a presidential caucus in 2016," Robertson said in a statement. "We would like to thank Senator Paul for his effort and due diligence in working to ensure that Republicans across Kentucky will now have an early and relevant say in the 2016 presidential primary process."

State law bans candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election. Paul tried without success to convince the state legislature to change the law. But a presidential caucus allows voters to vote for Paul for president on March 5 and then vote for him again for re-election to his Senate seat during the primary election on May 17.

Last month, party leaders met at the Crown Plaza Hotel and approved the caucus with 111 votes. It need only 98 to pass.

Paul told reporters last month that he had no doubts he'd be able to raise the money by the deadline of Sept. 18.

"We're incredibly excited to be moving forward with a caucus in Kentucky," Paul's Chief Strategist Doug Stafford. "This is great news for Republicans across the Commonwealth who will now play an important part in the presidential primary nominating process."

Presidential candidates must file their declaration of candidacy with the Republican Party of Kentucky by January 7, 2016. Kentucky's Republican delegates will be awarded proportionally based on the results of the caucus.

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