Rand Paul Just Announced He’s Running for President. Here’s What You Need to Know About Him.

Conspiracy theories, daddy issues, and turtlenecks: Welcome to Paul ’16.

Ron Sachs/ZUMA

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Update, April 7, 10:23 a.m.: Paul has announced his candidacy on his campaign website.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is expected to officially launch his presidential bid today, making him the second major Republican candidate to enter the race, after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Last week, Paul released a YouTube video previewing his big announcement and proclaiming that on April 7 “one leader will stand up to defeat the Washington machine and unleash the American dream.” The video fades to black with loud chants of “President Paul!”

Paul will reportedly announce his candidacy during a Tuesday morning rally at Louisville’s Galt House Hotel and then embark on a weeklong campaign tour of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada—the key early primary states. He’ll also stop in California’s Orange County, home to many wealthy Republicans, for a fundraiser.

Paul’s preannouncement video brands him as a “different kind of Republican.” That, he is. The ophthalmologist-senator’s libertarian streak and popularity with young people certainly set him apart from his likely GOP rivals. But his past conspiracy-theorizing—and the controversial pronouncements of his father, Ron Paul—separate him from the pack for less positive reasons.

Check out the best of Mother Jones‘ coverage of Rand Paul:

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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