Rand Paul endorses in La. Senate race
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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulNoisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks Five things to watch for in deteriorating US-Saudi relations 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 FlemingOvernight Energy: Watchdog opens investigation into Interior chief | Judge halts Pruitt truck pollution rule decision | Winners, losers in EPA, Interior spending bill amendments Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Coast Guard suspends search for missing Ohio plane 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. 
 
Fellow Republican Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyLobbying world Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response Americans worried about retirement should look to employee ownership MORE Jr. (La.) has also touted his conservative chops and has a significant amount of cash on hand. 
 
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.