As he builds a grass-roots political operation in 50 states ahead of a potential 2016 presidential run, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is also courting longtime Republican Party benefactors, collecting funds for his political-action committee and his 2016 Senate campaign. In the first quarter of this year, those two groups collectively raised $1.6 million, according to sources familiar with Paul’s financial report.
Paul’s haul includes $1.1 million for Rand Paul 2016, the freshman senator’s reelection campaign, and about $500,000 for Rand PAC, his political-action committee, which pays for Paul’s extensive political travel and supports like-minded Republicans. These figures are similar to Paul’s fundraising numbers from the fourth quarter of last year, when his Senate campaign raised more than $1 million.
Most of the dollars were ladled up at events hosted by Rand Paul Victory, a joint committee that pools donations and disperses money to the PAC and Paul’s reelection campaign. The umbrella organization, which is run by Doug Stafford, Paul’s political strategist, is seen as the basis for a presidential campaign.
Two years before the GOP primaries, Paul’s camp has $2.7 million on hand, an approximate $600,000 increase from the previous quarter, according to Paul aides.