Republicans will be surprised if Rand Paul does not announce Whi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Republicans will be surprised if Rand Paul does not announce White House run April 7 in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It appears Kentucky's junior Senator is about to make it official.

Rand Paul is primed to announce a run for the White House in Louisville. Paul's team has booked an event at the Galt House on April 7.

No one will officially say what the announcement will be, but everyone will be surprised if he does not say he's running for President.

"Yes, it would surprise me if he didn't run," said Nathan Haney, the chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party.

As recently as a month ago, Paul said a run for the White House was likely.

"I am leaning towards getting involved. I've been traveling the country, presenting the message," he said at the time.

In January, Paul told WDRB News at his Capitol Hill office, he would announce his decision in the spring.

"March, April probably. I don't think it will be any earlier than that," said Paul.

Now local Republicans have been told to hold the date, April 7, for a big announcement at the Galt House.

"We'd love for him to launch his presidency from Louisville. It's just an exciting, sort of historic time for us," said Haney.

While advisers say Paul could still pull the plug, few expect that to happen.

"I mean he's been pretty clear for some time that he intended to make a run for the presidency," said Republican activist Ted Jackson.

Jackson is backing Jeb Bush for President and, in fact, has produced a pro-Bush website.

He believes Paul's biggest challenge will be broadening his support.

"People that are for Rand Paul today are very enthusiastic supporters -- very loud, very committed to him. Now, can he transfer that enthusiasm and loyalty to a broader base?" said Jackson.

Paul's expected run will once again put Kentucky in the center of national politics, similar to Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign last year,

"It will help highlight Kentucky. It will help highlight our issues, our people. And that's a good thing," said Haney.

"We're players, and we matter," said Jackson. "And we're going to have an impact in the primary and general election in a way we haven't in the past."

If Paul does indeed announce in Louisville, he will not hang around long.

Advisers say he'll quickly head to Iowa and New Hampshire where the race really begins.

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