Last night Rand Paul scored a major victory in securing his front-runner status for the 2016 presidential election. According to Politico, Paul announced that former Iowa GOP chair Steve Grubbs will be in charge of Paul’s RAND PAC.
This new addition is crucial to Paul’s push into Iowa, where Paul supporters just lost their footing and power in the state GOP executive branch. Per Politico:
The Iowa GOP central committee voted Saturday to fire the state party chairman and replace him with a fixture of the establishment.
Danny Carroll, removed on a 14-2 no confidence vote, will be replaced by Jeff Kaufmann, formerly the Speaker Pro Tem of the state House.
This was hardly a surprise, however:
The bloodless coup was widely expected after forces loyal to Gov. Terry Branstad officially seized control of the party’s governing body from close allies of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) at a state convention earlier this month.
This put Paul in a tough position. But his hiring Grubbs may ameliorate some of the damage. Grubbs is a veteran of the Iowa caucus, which tends to be very socially conservative, and his history as a presidential organizer is famous:
The Republican strategist helms the firm Victory Enterprises, a consulting company that operates in five Midwestern states. He co-chaired Bob Dole’s Iowa campaign and has advised candidates including Steve Forbes, Tommy Thompson and Herman Cain.
An operative who has worked for both establishment- and activist-friendly Republicans, Grubbs has met with Paul in Washington and conferred in person and by phone with Doug Stafford, the senator’s chief of staff and currently his top political adviser.
As rumors begin to swirl as to who will hop into the race for president, one thing is sure: while Paul is still running below Hillary Clinton in the polls in Iowa, this outreach is important. It means Paul is covering his base and building the network that could lay the foundations for a strong presidential run in 2016.