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Kelley Ashby Paul (born September 3, 1963) is the wife of ophthalmologist and U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who was elected to the United States Senate. Kelley Paul has worked as a political consultant for The Strategy Group for Media and as a freelance writer, and has also published a book titled True and Constant Friends in April 2015.[1]

Kelley Paul
Kelley Paul by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Paul in 2015
Kelley Ashby

(1963-09-03) September 3, 1963 (age 56)
Alma materRhodes College
Political partyRepublican
Rand Paul (m. 1990)

Paul is a graduate of Rhodes College. She is actively engaged in fundraising for veterans charities, in addition to her work for a political consulting firm.[2]

Early life and educationEdit

Kelley Ashby was born in Russellville, Kentucky, the daughter of Lillian (Wessell) and Hilton Ray Ashby, a military family.[3][4] Kelley has described her grandmother, an Irish immigrant who traveled the United States as a teenager, as one of her greatest life influences.[5][6][7] Kelley spent much of her early life moving around the country, describing herself as an "Air Force brat."[2] Her family lived for a few years in Turkey as well.[2] She graduated from Russellville High School, where she was a member of the cheerleader squad. Following her graduation from high school, Kelley attended Rhodes College, where she focused on the fields of communication and English.[8]

In 1988, Kelley met Rand Paul at a backyard oyster roast in Atlanta.[2] Rand Paul was completing a surgical rotation at Georgia Baptist Hospital while working on his medical degree at the Duke University School of Medicine.[2] At first Kelley thought that Rand was a teenager, and unaware that he was actually a 26-year-old doctor.[2] They began dating while Paul completed his rotation program, and Rand asked Kelley to move back with him to North Carolina and try to find a job in the Durham area so that they could continue being together. On October 20, 1990, the couple married, and eventually moved to Kentucky in 1993 when an ophthalmologist position opened up in the city of Bowling Green.[2]

Kelley would go on to help her husband with producing newsletters and mailings for his practice, running the payroll, keeping the books, and managing a remodel of the building where he saw patients.[2]

Later careerEdit

Kelley Paul introducing her husband at his Presidential announcement in Louisville, Kentucky.

Leading up to her husband's election to the United States Senate, Kelley began freelance writing, and focusing more on her own career as a private citizen.[9] In addition, she also worked for the political consulting firm The Strategy Group for Media, with one of her clients being then-U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz of Texas. She also maintains a board position at Helping a Hero, a charity that builds houses for wounded war veterans.[9]

During her husband's campaign, Kelley Paul also gave political speeches on behalf of her husband, including speaking to Republican women's groups, and participating in commercial advertisements on behalf of his campaign.[10][11]

In the lead up to Rand Paul's decision to run for President of the United States, Kelley began writing a book focused on her long lasting friendships, as well as her own family history titled True and Constant Friends: Love and Inspiration from Our Grandmothers, Mothers, and Friends. Many political consultants have referred to Kelley Paul as Senator Paul's "secret weapon,"[12][13][14] and describing her as a "very confident person, very comfortable, and she complements [Rand] well."[15] Kelley played a key role in the decision regarding whether her husband would seek the office of the Presidency, but stated that it was a much easier decision than deciding to run for U.S. Senate in mid-2009.[16]

In late September 2015, Kelley filed for her husband to appear on the ballot in the South Carolina primary.[17] In January 2016, after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came under criticism for her husband Bill Clinton's past relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Kelley said in an interview that Bill Clinton was "fair game" since he had become involved with his wife's campaign and that while it may not have been just, "I think we all know that's the way it is in politics now".[18][19] It was reported that she would be joining her husband in touring Iowa that month in an effort to garner more support for his campaign.[20][21]

Personal lifeEdit

Kelley Paul and Rand Paul were married on October 20, 1990, and have three sons, William (born 1992), Duncan, and Robert. As of 2015, William and Duncan attended the University of Kentucky, while Robert attended a private school in the Washington, D.C. area.[22]


  1. ^ "True and Constant Friends". Hachette Book Group. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Belkin, Lisa (2015-03-25). "Kelley Paul gets ready for her media blizzard". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  3. ^ Paul, Kelley (2015-04-14). True and Constant Friends: Love and Inspiration from Our Grandmothers, Mothers, and Friends. ISBN 9781455560745.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Kelley Paul Recounts Her Last Moments With Her Grandmother Before Her Death". Huffington Post. AOL. 2015-04-14. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  6. ^ Bash, Dana (2015-04-14). "Kelley Paul spotlights key to campaign trail survival: Friends". CNN. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  7. ^ "Kelley Paul Talks Rand, Palin, and Princess Leia". Bloomberg. 2015-04-14. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  8. ^ "About Kelley Paul". 2015-04-07. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  9. ^ a b Burke, Cathy (2013-09-18). "Rand Paul's Wife Hesitant About White House Bid". Newsmax. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  10. ^ Camia, Catalina (2015-04-07). "Kelley Paul promotes husband for president in campaign video". USA Today. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  11. ^ Zezima, Katie (2015-04-14). "Kelley Paul's advice to husband Rand Paul: 'You need to share a little bit about who you are, from the heart'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  12. ^ Whitman, Elizabeth (2015-04-07). "Who Is Rand Paul's Wife? Meet Kelley Ashby, His Secret Weapon Who Might Not Want Him To Win The 2016 Presidential Campaign". International Business Times. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  13. ^ Halperin, Mark (2015-04-08). "Bloomberg's Heilemann, Halperin: Is Kelley Paul Rand Paul's Secret Weapon?". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  14. ^ Peters, Jeremy (2015-04-13). "Kelley Paul Has a Task: To Make Rand Paul More Approachable". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  15. ^ "Book tour puts Rand Paul's 'secret' weapon on national stage". Associated Press. Daily Mail. 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  16. ^ Colmes, Alan (2015-04-14). "Kelley Paul: Running For Senate Was Harder Decision Than For President". Fox News. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  17. ^ "Kelley Paul files husband Rand's S. Carolina primary papers". WKYT. September 29, 2015.
  18. ^ Breitman, Kendall (January 6, 2016). "Kelley Paul: Ted Cruz Is 'Two-Faced'". Bloomberg.
  19. ^ "Rand Paul's Wife Kelley: Ted Cruz Is 'Two-Faced'". January 7, 2015.
  20. ^ "Rand Paul Is Making His Rounds". January 6, 2016.
  21. ^ Norvell, Kim (January 6, 2016). "Rand Paul returns to Iowa Jan. 7".
  22. ^ Harvey, Alyssa (2015-04-07). "What you see of Kelley now is what she was then". Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved 2015-04-14.

External linksEdit