Paul chief of staff moves to campaign role ahead of possible White House bid

Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) chief of staff, Doug Stafford, is leaving the congressional office to manage Paul's political operation, likely to develop it in time for a possible 2016 presidential run.

Paul's office confirmed to The Hill that Stafford will handle Paul's outreach and organization in early-primary states and run RAND PAC and Paul's Senate campaign PAC, both of which will grow and could provide Paul with a financial foundation ahead of a run for the GOP nomination.

He'll also handle Paul's political schedule and communications, and will continue to guide the Kentucky senator in strategic political decisions.

Trygve Olson, a Paul adviser, told National Review, which first reported the move, that Stafford's shift is "part of a natural evolution for Rand's team."

“Rand is doing a lot of things right now, so there’s a need to expand. Given Doug’s background in both establishment politics and grassroots politics, he’s a perfect fit," he said.

The senator hasn't been coy about his 2016 intentions. Though he has yet to make a bid official, he's said multiple times that he's considering a run.

And he's proved competitive in some early polls, recently leading the GOP pack in a survey of first-in-the-nation primary state New Hampshire.

Stafford's move is the latest indication Paul is serious about pursuing the party's presidential nomination in 2016.

More in Presidential races

Fiorina staffs up for potential 2016 bid

Read more »