Paul Steinhauser: Rand Paul back to Granite State next week
CONCORD - Sen. Rand Paul's returning to New Hampshire next Wednesday.
The Republican from Kentucky, who's seriously considering a 2016 run for the White House, on Jan. 14 will make his first visit to the first in the nation primary state since last November's midterm elections.
A source close to Paul tells NH1 News that the senator will attend "a bunch of private meetings and public events" and that "a full schedule will come over the couple of days."
Paul was in New Hampshire twice this past autumn. During a September visit, he headlined the New Hampshire GOP's unity breakfast, campaigned with Republican Senate nominee Scott Brown, and met with business leaders. He came back in October, to campaign for Brown and team up at an event with GOP gubernatorial nominee Walt Havenstein.
In an interview in October with NH1 News at the Republican state party headquarters in Concord, Paul said, "I've spent the last year traveling the country trying to figure out ways to make the Republican message big enough that we can win national elections again. I'm going to continue doing that for about six more months and sometime in the spring I'll make the final decision on whether I'll run for the nomination."
Asked what will be his deciding factors in making a decision on whether to run for the White House, Paul said, "some of it is how the message is resonating. If it's resonating and popular and I think there's a chance that that message can win the nomination, that's a big factor. Family's a big factor. We've gotten to the age where good legitimate reporters talk to the candidate but there are people out there who crawl through your trash, harass your kids, and so we are concerned about our family and our privacy."
In November, Paul met behind closed doors at a Washington, D.C., hotel with his team, which included some of his top political advisers based in the nation's capital, Kentucky, and such crucial primary and caucus states as New Hampshire and Iowa.
Some of those attending the meetings told NH1 News that "Team Rand had a very successful day of meetings which focused on fundraising performance, grassroots engagement, communications, outreach and other areas of interest."
If the senator decides to run, as expected, he may start with a leg up in New Hampshire, thanks to the support of those libertarian minded voters who backed his father in the 2012 cycle. In his third run for the White House, then-Rep. Ron Paul, of Texas, came in second in the Granite State primary, grabbing 23 percent of the vote.
Next week's visit was first reported by John DiStaso, of the New Hampshire Journal.