Kentucky Senate Leader May Introduce a Bill to Let Candidates run Simultaneously for President and Congress

Kentucky State Senator Damon Thayer, leader of the State Senate and a Republican, will decide by March 5 whether to introduce a bill to let candidates run simultaneously for President or Vice-President and either house of Congress. March 5 is the deadline for bills to be introduced in the Kentucky legislature.

If Senator Thayer introduces this bill, it will be to help U.S. Senator Rand Paul, whose term is up in the 2016 election and who may run for President that year. Other individuals who ran in the the general election in the same year for President and either House of Congress are Henry Clay in 1824, James Garfield in 1880, William Lemke in 1936, John Schmitz in 1972, and Randall Terry in 2012.

Clay and Lemke were re-elected to the House in the years in which they were running for President, but neither won his presidential race. Clay was re-elected to the House on August 2, 1824, and ran for President that year as well. There were no party nominees for President in 1824; candidates ran as individuals. Clay won all of Kentucky’s electoral votes in a popular vote held in November but he did not win the presidential election nationally.

Lemke was the Union Party presidential nominee and he was simultaneously re-elected to the House from North Dakota as a Republican. For president within North Dakota, he polled 13.4%.

James Garfield was elected to the U.S. Senate by the Ohio legislature early in 1880, and he was nominated for President at the Republican national convention on June 8, 1880, and he won the presidential election. He had not sought the Republican nomination for President, and had made the nominating speech for presidential candidate John Sherman at that convention. Garfield himself did not receive more than 2 votes for president at the convention until the 34th ballot.

John G. Schmitz was defeated for re-election to the U.S. House in California in June 1972, and then in August 1972 he was nominated by the American Party/American Independent Party for President.

Randall Terry ran in 2012 for Congress in Florida, and for president in Kentucky, Nebraska, and West Virginia.


Kentucky Senate Leader May Introduce a Bill to Let Candidates run Simultaneously for President and Congress — No Comments

  1. Thank you very much. I meant to say James Garfield, and I have just now corrected the post. I love commenters!

  2. Richard, What about VP Joe Biden? He ran in the 2008 primaries and for the Senate. He won the Senate seat, but didn’t get the nomination.

  3. John Breckinridge, then Vice President, was elected in December 1859 by the Kentucky legislature to fill a senate seat beginning in March 1861. In 1860, he was an unsuccessful candidate for President, finishing second to Abraham Lincoln in the electoral college.

    In March 1861, as President of the Senate, he swore in his successor, Hannibal Hamlin, who in turn swore in Breckinridge as Senator.

    John Nance Garner, in 1932; and Lyndon Baines Johnson, in 1960; were simultaneously re-elected to Congress and Vice President.

    In 1932, Garner was re-elected to the House of Representatives and elected as FDR’s Vice President. In March 1833, as Speaker of the House, and then Vice President, he presided over both chambers on the same day.

    Johnson was re-elected to the Senate and elected as Vice President in 1960. After LBJ resigned his senate seat, John Tower was elected in a special election, becoming the first Republican to be popularly elected to the Senate from Texas. LBJ had defeated Tower in the November 1960 general election.

    Johnson’s election to two offices was made possible by a lwa passed in 1959. It is not clear to me exactly what changed between 1932 (when Garner was elected to two offices) and 1959 when a law change was needed to permit Johnson to run for two offices.

    In 1951 the election code was codified, and there was a provision that would permit cross-nomination. Cross-nomination was an exception to the rule that a name could only appear once on a ballot. Perhaps when cross-nomination was eliminated this led to a more restricted interpretation of running for one office only. In 1952 the Republicans had cross-nominated Allan Shivers for governor, as well as most other Democratic nominees. Shivers was a leader in the Democrats for Eisenhower effort in 1952, after Truman tried to steal Texas’s oil. Native Texan Eisenhower carried Texas, while Shivers was re-elected governor with 2 million Democratic and 400,000 Republican votes.

    In 1988, Lloyd Bentsen was re-elected to the Senate from Texas, while simultaneously running unsuccessfully for Vice President as Michael Dukakis’s running mate.

    In 2000, Joe Lieberman was re-elected to the Senate from Connecticut, while running unsuccessfully for Vice President; and in 2008 Joe Biden was successfully re-elected to the Senate from Delaware and as Vice President.

  4. I wasn’t trying to list vice-presidential examples, just presidential examples. There are lots of vice-presidential examples.

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