Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul quits 2016 GOP presidential race

By LAURIE KELLMAN and MEG KINNARD
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Rand Paul is dropping out of the 2016 race for president.

Campaign spokeswoman Eleanor May confirmed his decision Wednesday to The Associated Press, saying a statement would be forthcoming.

The first-term senator from Kentucky exits the race having never caught on with Republican voters, who have made billionaire businessman Donald Trump the front-runner in the race for the party’s nomination.

Paul was determined to improve the GOP’s popularity among younger voters and minorities. But his message failed to catch on and his appeal never broadened beyond the small group of libertarian-leaning Republicans that backed the previous White House bids of his father, Ron Paul.

He is now expected to turn his full attention to his Senate re-election campaign in Kentucky. The 52-year-old ophthalmologist is favored to win that race.

Paul has posted a video message on his facebook page, which you can view by clicking here.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC,) released a statement on Wednesday, in reference to Paul’s withdrawal from the presidential race.  “Senator Rand Paul has distinguished himself as a champion for the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the United States Senate. That commitment to fighting for Kentucky families remains unchanged,” said NRSC Executive Director Ward Baker. “We look forward to the campaign ahead to ensure that Senator Paul continues to serve the Bluegrass State in the Senate. His strong record of fighting for limited government stands in stark contrast to Jim Gray’s status as Barack Obama’s liberal surrogate in Kentucky.”

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