Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is expected to announce plans to join the party’s 2016 presidential field on April 7, multiple sources inside Paul’s camp told MSNBC on Tuesday. The announcement, scheduled to take place in Louisville, Kentucky, will serve as the official campaign launch for Paul, who has spent months traveling to early voting states to assess whether his largely libertarian message will catch fire with the party’s conservative base.
“This will be an official announcement, not an exploratory committee,” said a source close to Paul who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss his plans. “Everything will happen pretty quickly over the next couple of weeks,” another source close to Paul told msnbc.
Doug Stafford, executive director at RandPAC, Paul’s political action committee, had no comment.
Paul is set to travel to the four major early voting states immediately after the announcement, aides said. He will host events in Milford, New Hampshire, April 8; Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina on April 9; Iowa City, Iowa on April 10; and Las Vegas, Nevada on April 11.
Paul, a 52-year old ophthalmologist, is the son of Ron Paul, the well-known Texas libertarian congressman who sought the presidency three times, in 1988, 2008 and 2012. The younger Paul has worked to reassemble his father’s passionate supporter base while also extending his reach into more traditional Republican audiences. Rand Paul has also courted voters not traditionally allied with the GOP, including young people and African-Americans. He recently joined Democrats including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey to introduce legislation loosening federal restrictions on the use of medicinal marijuana. (Read more from “Rand Paul 2016 Announcement Date: Senator Eyeing April 7 To Launch Presidential Campaign” HERE)