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.

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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.