Locals react to Rand Paul presidential candidacy bid

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is officially running for president. Supporters gathered in Louisville, Kentucky for a rally.

It was rumored he would use the rally to announce his bid, and after an hour-long speech he became the second republican to do so.  Kentuckians affiliated with the GOP say it’s even easier to be enthusiastic about this candidate.   

David Jones is the vice chair for the Republican Party in Graves County. It’s a small group, but it’s growing, 

“Lots more people are coming. It used to be 10, and now it’s 30,” Jones says.

He hopes the excitement of Paul running for president might spark more people to show up and devote the time to the party —people like Matt Haney. The Ballard County resident was one of hundreds at Paul’s rally today. He says he was impressed with the energy and Paul’s appeal to the everyman, 

“Yesterday he was mowing his own yard, and now he’s starting a campaign to run for president,” Haney says.

Haney says he walked away from the rally feeling as though he witnessed a piece of history, saying “This is possibly the real hope and change we’ve been looking for.”

If Paul wins, he’ll be the second Kentuckian in the White House. But even more than the historical implications, Jones says the recent bid will be mutually beneficial for state and candidate. 

“He would get a lot of support from Kentucky just because he is the Kentucky senator,” Jones adds.

Jones says it’s tough to make time for politics, but he’s hoping Paul may change that, adding “I stay in politics because no one else will.”

The Democratic National Committee is already responding to the announcement. National Committee Chair Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz is saying, in part, “Rand Paul says he wants to unleash the American dream, but the only thing a Paul presidential candidacy unleashes is a massive lurch backwards to failed policies and narrow-minded extremism.”

Jones told me the local Republican party’s policy is to wait until there’s a nominee to announce public support. As far as he knows, there isn’t a designated campaign representative for Paul in our area.

But he says their office is always open for any rally stops or flyers to pass out.

Paul is the second Republican to announce a presidential candidacy bid after Ted Cruz.

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