Rand Paul endorses in La. Senate race
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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMichigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate MORE (R-Ky.) is throwing his weight behind retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness in Louisiana's crowded race for Senate.  

The libertarian-leaning senator and former presidential hopeful announced his decision in a statement released by the Maness campaign. 
 
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“The United States Senate is in desperate need of principled constitutional conservatives committed to protecting individual liberty and that is exactly why I am thrilled to endorse Col. Rob Maness for Senate in Louisiana," Paul said. 

"He is a staunch believer in our 4th amendment rights and understands that to truly protect liberty, we must protect the ENTIRE Bill of Rights."
 
Maness has earned some traction with conservatives, winning endorsements from former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and former presidential candidate Ben Carson. But he's never held elected office and won just 14 percent in the state's 2014 Senate primary. 
 
He'd have to overcome some prominent rivals in the state to make it through November's jungle primary and onto the December run-off.
 
Rep. John FlemingJohn Calvin FlemingTrump wants Congress to delay Census deadlines amid pandemic Meadows sets up coronavirus hotline for members of Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Iran strikes US bases in Iraq; Trump to speak today MORE (R) has won the endorsement of the Club for Growth political action committee, as well as conservative leader Tony Perkins and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum. He also ended March with more money in the bank than any major candidate. 
 
 
But both lag significantly behind state Treasurer John N. Kennedy, who led a Southern Media & Opinion Research poll in late May, with 32 percent support, according to Roll Call. Boustany finished second, with 10 percent, and Fleming followed with 5.2 percent. Maness sat in fourth place, with 4 percent. 
 
The seat will be vacated by Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic Bottom line MORE (R), who decided not to run for reelection after losing the gubernatorial race in 2014.