The winner of the June 8 run-off will face Republican Rep. John Boozman, who won the Republican nomination; the race is likely to be among the most competitive as Republicans try to wrest control of the Senate from Democrats.
Elsewhere, Kentucky Republicans chose Paul — the son of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, whose 2008 presidential candidacy sparked legions of followers — as their nominee for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning. Tea party activists lifted Paul to victory over Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who was the favored candidate of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Celebrating his triumph, Paul — a 47-year-old eye surgeon making his first run for office — said, "I have a message, a message from the tea party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our government back."
Among Paul's supporters was Bill Osburn, 79, from Murray, Ky., who said: "I'm against the establishment. They're all crooked, unreliable and selfish for power. ... We need citizen representatives, not political politicians."
In the fall, Paul will face Jack Conway, the Kentucky attorney general, winner over Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo in the Democratic primary.