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Jeb Bush for president? 17 Republicans definitely (or maybe) running in 2016

The GOP has a history of nominating people who have run before, which could give heart to some familiar faces. But there’s also a crop of first-timers who could steal the show.

2. Rand Paul

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    US Presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Rand Paul speaks at the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, May 16, 2015.
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The junior senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul is the heir to his father’s political franchise. And now that Ron Paul, former congressman from Texas and three-time presidential candidate, has retired from politics, Senator Paul has filled the void.

Paul officially entered the presidential campaign fray on April 7, 2015.

Paul has emerged as a leading voice for libertarianism within the Republican Party, conducting a headline-grabbing filibuster against drones and floating the idea of a US Supreme Court challenge to government surveillance of phone records. Paul also has tea party appeal. 

Paul is a hard-charger for his point of view. He went after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on foreign policy, arguing a more isolationist approach. Paul also defends the October 2013 government shutdown, which aimed to derail implementation of Obamacare.  

At times, Paul plays nice with the Republican establishment. He gave crucial support to the senior senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, in his successful reelection in 2014. 

In July 2013, Paul laid out what his presidential campaign appeal might look like.

“I’m the kind of candidate, if I were to be a national candidate, that would be someone that says, ‘You know, young people, Republicans, we will protect your privacy, we do care about the Internet, we do want to promote a less aggressive foreign policy – a strong national defense, but a less aggressive foreign policy,' ” Paul said on New Hampshire radio station WGIR-AM.

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