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


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: