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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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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