Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that Jesse Benton, the former campaign manager for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), will be part of Paul’s campaign team in 2016.
Benton, served as McConnell’s campaign manager for much of the 2014 cycle until he resigned amid questions about the role he allegedly played in a 2012 Iowa pay-for-votes bribery scandal.
Paul, in an interview with WHAS11, said that he thinks “Jesse is honest, he’s good at politics and I don’t think he’s done anything wrong.”
It wasn’t clear from Paul’s comments if he was referring to his Senate re-election campaign or the presidential campaign he’s rumored to be gearing up for.
The important thing to know about Benton is that he’s long been tied to the Paul family. He previously was Ron Paul’s campaign manager when the then-Texas congressman ran for president in 2008 and 2012. He was also caught on audio saying that he was holding his nose to help McConnell so he could help Paul down the line.
“Jesse is married to my niece and was a big help in the Kentucky election here in 2010 and a big help for Sen. McConnell,” Paul said. “And, yes he’ll help us.”
Paul also suggested that the federal investigation into the bribery scandal that resulted in Benton leaving McConnell’s campaign may have been tainted by politics.
“You know I think one of the considerations when you look at any of this is that we are with an administration where there has been a lot of politically motivated investigations,” Paul said. “And I think that has to be one consideration.”