The PoliBlog

The Collective
Wednesday, October 10, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

In a comment to this post, Matthew Shugart wondered if Ron Paul could simultaneously run for re-election to his House seat and also launch a third party bid for the presidency.

Well, to allow Lyndon Baines Johnson the chance to run for re-election to his Senate seat and to pursue the Vice Presidency, the State Legislature of Texas inserted a provision in the election code that allowed for persons in Texas to run for President or Vice President as well as for some other office. Based on the below the provision was renewed in 1985.

We can find this in Title 9 “Candidates” of that Code:

§ 141.033. FILING APPLICATIONS FOR MORE THAN ONE OFFICE PROHIBITED. (a) A candidate may not file applications for a place on the ballot for two or more offices that: (1) are not permitted by law to be held by the same person; and (2) are to be voted on at one or more elections held on the same day. (b) If a person files more than one application for a place on a ballot in violation of this section, each application filed subsequent to the first one filed is invalid. (c) This section does not apply to candidacy for the office of president or vice-president of the United States and another office. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

As such, Paul could run for both, if he so desired. Now, the question is: if he went third party for President, would he do so for House as well? For that matter, would he have to? My guess is that there is no law precluding it, but that the Texas GOP would object. While I suspect he is a shoe-in for re-election to his seat as a Republican, my guess is that he would have a much harder time regaining it as a third party candidate facing a Democrat and a Republican.

At a minimum, Paul is making no promises in terms of supporting the GOP nominee as John Fund notes in Paul for the Long Haul:

A hint of his dissatisfaction came last night during the CNBC debate when Chris Matthews asked him if he would promise “to support the nominee of the Republican Party next year.” Mr. Paul’s answer was a flat no. “Not unless they’re willing to end the war and bring our troops home. And not unless they are willing to look at the excess in spending. No, I’m not going to support them if they continue down the path that has taken our party down the tubes.”

Fund even considered the above-noted party-split scenario:

Mr. Paul could, of course, retire from the House if he ran for president. But Texas law also allows him to both run for president and seek re-election to the House, thanks to a statute rammed through by Lyndon Johnson. The GOP primary in which Mr. Paul is being challenged for his seat is held in early March, well before he would have to publicly announce any third-party intentions. Nothing prevents him from running as, say, a Libertarian for president and a Republican for the House at the same time.

If anything, it would all be rather interesting.

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Filed under: US Politics, 2008 Campaign | |


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    1. Yep, that would be not only interesting, but really cool!

      And here is one way where the Kucinich analogy (which I gave at the other thread) breaks down. At least I do not think Kucinich would hesitate to say that he will support his party’s nominee the same way Paul did, in the quote above.

      Comment by MSS — Wednesday, October 10, 2024 @ 5:01 pm

    2. Lieberman ran for Vice President and Senator in 2024, of course.

      Comment by Max Lybbert — Wednesday, October 10, 2024 @ 5:33 pm

    3. Yup.

      Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, October 10, 2024 @ 5:55 pm

    4. Around The Sphere Blog Roundup October 11, 2024

      Our linkfest offering readers links to blogposts from websites of many different viewpoints. Linked posts do NOT necessarily reflect the opinion of TMV or its writers.
      FROSTY RECEPTION: The furor continues over the role and/or treatment of 12-year-ol…

      Trackback by The Moderate Voice — Thursday, October 11, 2024 @ 2:19 am

    5. Ron Paul will not run 3rd party. He has said so numerous times, and quite plainly. He knows the game is rigged, and it would not be worth his time.

      Although I am staunchly Libertarian and Dr. Paul is perhaps only 80% Libertarain, he has the one essential quality that no Libertarian candidate can ever have: The word Republican after his name on the ballot. This is good for an automatic 30-40% depending on how many candidates are in the running.

      As such it makes him eminently more electable than even the best looking Libertarian candidate. Even Ron Paul himself doesn’t run as a Libertarian in his own congressional district, although he would have every benefit of incumbancy regardless of party label. In fact, he would stand a better chance of getting re-elected if switched to the Democrat party than if he switched to Libertarian.

      Comment by Kevin Houston — Thursday, October 11, 2024 @ 3:35 am

    6. LBJ wasn’t the only Texan to run in two races. In 1988, Lloyd Bensen ran for VP and the Senate.

      Comment by fritz — Thursday, October 11, 2024 @ 12:30 pm

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