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'Tea Party' supporter Rand Paul wins GOP Senate primary in Kentucky (Updated)

May 18, 2010 |  5:30 pm

Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky

The ill-defined but angry "tea party" movement is one step closer to having its first U.S. senator.

In what could be an indication of how voters feel in these days of big federal spending, Kentuckians today chose tea party supporter Rand Paul as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by incumbent Republican Jim Bunning.

The 47-year-old son of 2008 GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, Rand has been an outspoken opponent of big federal government, big federal spending, the federal Department of Education, the Fed and members of Congress who get too fond of their power and stay on too long.

And, btw, Paul was not the only Tea Party supporter to win in Kentucky Tuesday. Todd Lally, a pilot, also won the Republican nomination to run in the state's 3rd congressional district.

At the moment of victory, Paul explained his conservative supporters' motivation to....

...the Fox Business Network:

They are worried about those who keep spending the money and seem to have no restraint. I think it’s an anti-big-government message going on. I’m not going to run away from the tea party message.

Paul, an eye doctor, defeated the better-known secretary of State Trey Grayson, the handpicked favorite of Kentucky's senior senator, Mitch McConnell, Senate minority leader for the GOP. Another likely indication of the anti-incumbent fervor that seems to be spreading.

Paul was critical of McConnell in recent months but said Tuesday he plans a unity rally Saturday to bring the state's Republican Party together to hold the seat.

(UPDATE: 6:24 p.m.: McConnell's office said this evening he will definitely attend the Saturday rally and issued this statement from him: 

 Dr. Paul ran an outstanding campaign which clearly struck a chord with Kentucky voters and I congratulate him on his impressive victory.

Now Kentucky Republicans will unite in standing against the overreaching policies of the Obama Administration. We are spiraling further into unsustainable debt and Kentucky needs Rand Paul in the U.S. Senate because he will work every day to stop this crippling agenda.

On limiting himself to two terms, Paul told Fox:

I haven’t taken a voluntary pledge. I don’t conceive of myself staying longer than twelve years. I am young enough that I’d like to go back and practice medicine.

If I were fortunate enough to go up there for 12 years, I think that’s enough. We need someone who will go up in six to 12 years, who will go up and shake up the system and change the system.

Related items:

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While America votes, Obama tries to talk economy to troubled Ohio

Obama's not on any ballot today, but he's on many minds

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Rand Paul Credit: Ed Reinke / Associated Press

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